22 Sep 2018

 

Government Calls For Prosecution Of UNMISS Sexual Abuse Suspects

South Sudan government has demanded for investigations and prosecution of suspects allegedly involved in the sexual abuse by members of a Ghanaian United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) police unit in Wau.

Government Calls For Prosecution Of UNMISS Sexual Abuse Suspects

By Ojwe Lumara

JUBA, 1 March 2018, [Gurtong
]-This comes after UNMISS on Saturday recalled to Juba a Ghanaian police unit working at one of its protection camps while it investigates allegations that some of the 46-member units were involved in sexual abuse.

In a press conference on Wednesday, the Director of International Organizations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador John Andruga Duku said the recalled police unit should not be dispatched out of the country until investigations are complete and they are prosecuted.

He said that renewal of the (UNMISS) mandate should be suspended by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) until the issue is cleared.

“In our view, the renewal of mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan has to be suspended until this investigation is undertaken because renewing the mandate with this cloud hanging is doing injustice for the people of South Sudan,” Andruga said. “The UNSC should not rush to extending the mandate unless the investigation is done because it will unearth a lot of things which we don’t know.”

UNMISS on 24th said there is an internal investigation going on. However, Andruga called for an independent investigation saying that UNMISS should not be involved in the investigations because of what he called conflict of interests.

The Government Spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth said the police unit should not have been recalled to Juba.

 “They decided to bring them all here (Juba). Why should they bring them here and not brought to the book?” Makuei asked. “As UN personnel, you are immune if you commit offence in the performance of your duties but if you commit an offence outside your mandate, you will carry your cross.”

Makuei added that if the UN decides to take suspects away from South Sudan, “then UN itself will answer as long as they have already admitted that they found such a thing.”

“Going with other people’s wives and daughters is not within their mandate,” Makuei added.
Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said the alleged sexual abuse was a humiliation to the population and a contradiction to the global responsibility to protect civilians.

He however called for a joint investigation comprising of the government, UNMISS and the civil society to establish facts and hold the people accountable.


 

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