S. Sudan Opposition Seeks UN Consultation before Deployment

1414 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Zindo Manasseh, a senior aide of former First Vice President Riek Machar says that while they welcome the decision by the South Sudan Government to accept the 4000 peace keepers, they equally expect to be consulted by the UN Security Council as stakeholders in the agreement for peace.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), the opposition wing in South Sudan, wants the United Nations Security Council to consult them over the recently approved deployment of a Regional Protection Force in Juba.

Zindo Manasseh, a senior aide of former First Vice President Riek Machar says that while they welcome the decision by the South Sudan government to accept the 4000 peace keepers, they equally expect to be consulted by the UN Security Council as stakeholders in the agreement for peace.

His comments come just a day after the South Sudan government consented to the deployment of the Security Council-mandated Regional Protection Force to Juba, where, over one and a half million people are displaced and over 700,000 have fled across borders as refugees.

South Sudan had initially held back on agreeing to the force saying it was a violation of sovereignty. But Martin Elia Lomuro, the Cabinet Affairs Minister in the Transitional Government of National Unity said they are now willing to work in a fresh spirit of cooperation to advance the interests of the South Sudanese people.
 
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It is hoped that the 4,000 troops will provide the stability to allow some people to return home.

But Zindo Manasseh says that the decision was single sided and did not put into consideration, the views and interests of the diverse forces in South Sudan.  He adds that consulting all parties to the conflict is of paramount importance to the citizens of South Sudan because many of them still fault Salva Kiir for violating the peace agreement.
 
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The latest wave of fighting broke out in Juba on July 7 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former first Vice President Riek Machar.

Ambassador Samantha Power, one of the UN officials who have just concluded a mission to Juba is optimistic that the displaced people are more likely to go home once a regional protection force mandated is deployed. She adds that the conflict has ushered a huge surge in sexual violence against women.
 
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About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.