The Government of the Republic of South Sudan has re-affirmed its commitment to improve and re-establish good relations with UNMISS; following the UN weapons seizure early this month. “UNMISS is in South Sudan because of the willingness of the people and the Government of South Sudan, before and after the independence, the Government will always cooperate with UNMISS, they are our guest and in the country with our permission”, South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin explained.
US Special Envoy Donald Both (right) and other dignitaries during a meeting with Dr. Benjamin
He said the government doesn’t have bad intentions towards United Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as a UN entity in South Sudan nor does it to Hilde F Johnson as the head of the Mission. He said investigations are already underway into the recently seized UN weapons, which stained relations between the Government and UNMISS adding; the outcome would be made known to the public.
Relations between the Government and UNMISS reached its lowest earlier this month when government intercepted weapons in UN hired-vehicles said to be carrying “Building material”. UNMISS admitted a mistake was done and said it was an “error” [Seized UNMISS Arms: we need more answers, Government]
Dr Benjamin, said UNMISS has extended a formal apology to the Government and the two are working to improve relations. he said, the general public and the Government would have not raised any suspicions if UNMISS had followed the right procedures and involved the relevant authorities. Dr. Benjamin made the remarks in a meeting with the US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth today in Juba.
On the conflict, the US Envoy hailed the Government for respecting the cessation of hostilities agreement and urged all parties to uphold their commitment on cessation of hostilities agreement.
He said, the US government is committed to ensuring that a speedy resolution to the country’s current crisis is reached. Furthermore, he said the US Government is dong all it can to address the humanitarian concerns of people affected by the four months conflict.