South Sudan

Detailed Report: Hilde Shakes Off Machar Alliance


prostate geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Here is their detailed report since December 15, 2013:

1. Allegations of ‘smuggling weapons to the rebels’ – and the confiscation of arms and ammunition in the convoy in Rumbek, and that the seized items included land mines is not correct.

The UN High Level Investigations Committee from New York has confirmed through the serial numbers and appropriate documentation that the weapons in the three containers in the UNMISS’ convoy belonged to the Ghanaian battalion, en route to Bentiu.

. The Secretary-General will share the findings with the Government this week.

. Poor labelling and insufficient oversight in Cote d’Ivoire, prior to arrival in UNMISS, contributed to a consignment of weapons and ammunition being mistakenly packed with ordinary supply cargo in shipping containers. This was a result of systemic failure by the UN on several fronts, including in Juba.

.The Committee established that no anti-personnel mines and air defence tripods were included in the consignment. These were in fact respirator canisters (anti-riot masks) and machine gun mounts, respectively.

. The Committee found no evidence of any deliberate attempt by UNMISS staff, the contractors or the Ghanaian Battalion to secretly transport arms and ammunition to any third party, including rebel groups in South Sudan.

. The GRSS’ authorities has now released all cargo and weapons to UNMISS, which are now en route to Bentiu, by road and air respectively.

2. Allegations of support to Riek Machar (including refuge and transport by helicopter) is not correct.

. UNMISS strongly and categorically rejects any allegations related to support or transport of Riek Machar, which also would contravene the commitment of the United Nations to act in full transparency in relation to the host government with regard to all its operations.

. If leaders of the opposition sought refuge or transport by UNMISS, the Mission would be transparent about this, inform the host government, and consult Headquarters in New York accordingly.

. As regards transport Bor – Gadiang, the only flight UNMISS conducted to Gadiang during the current crisis was a recce flight on 29 December, which was shot at by Machar’s forces.

According to international aviation safety rules, recce flights do not land while conducting their mission and are also not permitted to carry passengers.

. UNMISS has the records of all flights taken during the crisis, and has communicated that we would be pleased to share them with the Government.

3. Allegations of SRSG-visit to Addis Ababa – part of conspiracy and “only meeting the rebels” is not correct.

. The SRSG was invited to Addis Ababa by the IGAD Special Envoy, Seyoum Mesfin, to discuss UN support for the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) in relation to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement. The acting Force Commander therefore accompanied the SRSG on her one day-visit on February 21.

. As UNMISS does not have a mediating role, the SRSG did not travel to Addis to meet with any of the negotiating delegations. Allegations that the SRSG met with the SPLM/A in Opposition, and not the Government, are therefore not correct.

. On the contrary, the SRSG frequently meets with relevant Government ministers in Juba on issues related to peace and security, as well as the IGAD-talks.

. Whenever the SRSG has met informally with detainees or released detainees, this has been done following consultations with GRSS’ highest authority and/or its security authorities.

4. Allegations that UNMISS is harbouring rebels in its compounds (including in uniform) – and keeping others confined to the bases:

These are the facts:

. Around 80% of the IDPs in the protection sites within UNMISS compounds are women and children (for Tomping, the number is 77 % women and children).

. In keeping with International Humanitarian Law, UNMISS has an obligation to protect any civilian seeking refuge on its premises, including elements from both sides of a conflict, without weapons and uniforms, and when they have ceased to take part in hostilities.

. No ex-combatant is permitted to keep his weapon or uniform in our bases; these military assets are all confiscated. When entering the base, the person is a civilian.

. Medical attention has been given to wounded elements from both sides, in keeping with the Geneva Conventions, which South Sudan has ratified.

. Any civilian can exit the camp any time; anyone that feels safe enough to leave the camp or POC-site within an UNMISS base and return home can do so any time. No one is being held or kept hostage in any UN-base.

. The status of IDPs with alleged political affiliations need to be resolved separately by the parties, in accordance with international law.

5. Allegations that UNMISS is allowing weapons in the camps is not correct.

. Regular weapons searches are being conducted in the bases, including ‘combing’ all the sites with metal detectors. All access to the camps are controlled where each IDP is screened by UN Police and UN Security before entry.

. Perimeter security is strengthened around the camps through physical fencing, military patrols in and around the bases, and statutory military protection along the perimeter, to make sure that weapons are not smuggled in through the fence.

. All confiscated weapons, ammunitions, and uniforms have been inventoried and a list has been shared with the Minister of Defense.

. The area around the Western Gate of Tomping camp was finally cleared by SSNPS on February 10 after continuous advocacy by UNMISS and strong support by UN Police.

. The operation implied clearing of all vehicles that could be a security threat and dismantling sale stands and liquor bars involved in illegal activity.

. The area around the gates and fence of both UNMISS’ camps in Juba has been cleared and ‘combed’ with metal detectors by SSNPS, UN Police and UNMAS several times.

Very few weapons have been found.

6. Allegations against the UN wanting to make South Sudan a UN-Protectorate is not correct.

. The UN has supported the cause of self determination for South Sudan from the time of the CPA through to the referendum and independence. None of this would be possible without the help of the United Nations.

. To allege that the UN would reverse this whole process by making South Sudan a UN-protectorate is not only far-fetched. It is pure fabrication.

. The UN has no tradition of making countries protectorates. The only two examples where the UN has partly administered territory are cases such as Timor Leste and Kosovo.

However, this was not after independence, but in assisting the countries to become independent – in the same way as South Sudan gained its independence.

. The UN has succeeded in assisting newly independent countries in such post-independence periods, with state building and peace building, strengthening the core functions of the state.

. This has also been the mandate of UNMISS up to now, yielding results that have been appreciated by members of the GRSS, many Governors and county commissioners.

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