South Sudan
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South Sudan rebels accuse UN of colluding with government forces

SPLA-IO’s Spokesman, Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng. Photo: File

Pagak/Juba, May 1, 2017 (SSNA) — South Sudanese rebels have accused the United Nations Mission in South Sudan of coordinating and facilitating the movement of government forces, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) spokesman said.

It is not clear what provoked the armed opposition to accuse the world body of providing support to South Sudanese government.

However, SPLA-IO spokesman Brigadier General William Gatjiath Deng said in a statement released Sunday that UN helicopters were seen in and around Tonga areas lifting government troops who were trapped in the area after a fierce fighting between the rival forces.

“We are once again appealing to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to immediately stop coordinating, providing support to, and facilitating the movements and operations of the Juba regime forces in South Sudan,” Deng said.

Deng explained in the document that UN decision to help government soldiers happened after a “recent fighting in and around Tonga on Saturday, April 28, 2017,” adding “UN Helicopters were spotted airlifting to Bentiu from Tonga Juba regime officers trapped in the operation there.”

The rebel spokesman complained that UNMISS offered its assistance to Juba-backed forces while the very soldiers they helped airlifted involved in killings of non-Dinka civilians.

“The UN was doing this, while Juba regime forces involved in the operations were actively killing and committing atrocities against the non-Dinka civilian population in the area,” he asserted.

Brig. Gen. Deng further alleged that UN has in the past helped government troops, saying, UNMISS allowed “allowed Juba security agents unlimited access to UNMISS facilities including internet, telescope, other surveillance, and communication equipment” in January. He also alleged that the UN once allowed government security officers to use its buildings for monitoring, mapping, and locating SPLA-IO positions and movements around Nasir.

Deng further accused UNMISS of not protecting civilians and calls on the United Nations to investigate activities of its peacekeepers operating in South Sudan.