South Sudan

Hilde Spills More Secrets of Warring Parties

pharmacy geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>7. The Akobo –attack and allegations of no protest by UNMISS is not correct:

. On December 19, the day of the attack on the Akobo base, UNMISS strongly condemned the attack (which led to the killing of 2 Indian Peacekeepers and many civilians) in a Press statement, and called for strict accountability measures.

. On December 20, UNMISS issued another Press statement with more details of the attack and once again condemning the attack in the strongest possible terms.

Investigations into the attack were immediately launched. The SRSG was interviewed in Al Jazeera and UNMISS in other news media condemning the attack.

. The Secretary General and the Security Council both issued a similar statement condemnation on December 20, which was covered in numerous news outlets.

. At the commemoration of the deaths of the Indian peacekeepers who perished in Akobo, the SRSG condemned in the strongest terms the attack on Akobo and the killings of peacekeepers and civilians, which was also echoed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Barnaba Benjamin Marial.

8. Allegations of UNMISS unwilling and unable to protect civilians and prevent “another Akobo” is not correct:

. As a consequence of the limited troop presence when the Akobo base was attacked, UNMISS has deployed additional forces when large numbers of civilians have sought refuge in our bases, or when there has been a likelihood of such influx.

. The great majority of UNMISS peacekeepers have now been concentrated in the 8 bases civilians fled to, and where they are currently under protection of the Mission.

. At the Melut CSB, for example, UNMISS has increased its presence to a full company to be able to protect the civilians that have sought refuge there, and to prepare for a possible influx of IDPs.

. UNMISS has on several occasions rejected to hand over assets to opposition forces, despite being threatened with having our bases attacked by large numbers of armed youth (in Nasser on 7 & 21 Jan when UNMISS rejected to hand over fuel, and in Malakal on 18 & 19 January when UNMISS rejected to hand over weapons).

These threats have been strongly protested to Riek Machar.

9. Allegations of no protest against the commandeering of vehicles, looting and occupation of property –& “handing over” assets to rebels: is not correct:

. Early January: 3 vehicles (WFP & WHO) had been commandeered by the opposition forces: DSRSG, Toby Lanzer made a statement on BBC World Service (TV) on 3 January protesting this incident.

. By 9 January a total of 10 vehicles (UN Agencies and Humanitarian NGOs) had been commandeered by the opposition forces: SRSG Hilde F. Johnson issued a Press statement, and on Radio Miraya, Radio Barkita, SSTV and Al Jazeera, condemned these actions and requested the return of the vehicles. The SRSG also reported these actions by anti-government forces to the Security Council on 9 January 2014.

. By 19 January approximately 20 vehicles had been forcibly commandeered in Bor, Akobo & Bentiu. The SRSG protested against this to Riek Machar again and demanded that all vehicles and other looted assets, which are being used in combat, contrary to international law, be returned immediately.

. The Secretary General of the United Nations condemned these actions in a statement the following week. DSRSG Toby Lanzer also protested against the continuous looting and commandeering of vehicles by anti-government forces on Al Jazeera, Radio Miraya and Eye Radio.

10. Allegations of APCs being taken to Bor or “handed over” to rebels: is not correct – no APCs have been taken or handed over:

. South of Bor: An UNMISS contractor, transporting one truck and one APC from Juba to Bor got stuck in the mud on 9 December (and the contractor left). GRSS-authorities were informed. Both vehicles were on the ‘flatbed’/low loader and were inoperable.

. The APC and the truck were never handed over or taken by rebels, and could not even be lifted from the flat bed. By 11 February, they were retrieved by UNMISS and are now in the safe custody of the Mission.

. Akobo: The two APCs located in Akobo were largely immobile and were never used by opposition forces, and have since been secured. 3 pickup-trucks and 3 vehicles could have been taken after evacuation (statement above).

. Gumuruk: When troops were extracted from Gumuruk, the five APCs were made inoperable, prior to evacuation. They have now been moved by UNMISS to the contingent in Pibor town.

11. Allegations of not protesting actions against UNMISS by the rebels: is not correct:

. The shooting at an UNMISS helicopter on December 29: The SRSG strongly protested the firing of small arms at the UNMISS helicopter to Mr. Riek Machar directly, and reported this attack to the Security Council in its meeting of January 9.

. On December 30, the SRSG also protested this incident on Radio Miraya, Radio Barkita and other news outlets.

. Contrary to allegations, UNMISS has checked its records and can confirm that the Mission never attributed the incident to the SPLA, and no complaint or formal protest was therefore conveyed to the SPLA.

12. Allegations of bias in the Human rights investigations: is not correct:

. UNMISS is investigating and carefully documenting the serious human rights violations and atrocities committed by all parties during the current crisis. The investigations are on-going in Bentiu, Bor, Malakal and Juba, and surrounding areas.

. An interim investigation report was released on February 21, which shows that the violations and atrocities were committed by both sides. The verification process is underway in all main locations and where several communities are among the victims.

. The comprehensive investigation report, which will be made public at the end of April, will not be biased and will include violations in all these locations.

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