South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir has rejected the recommendations of the United Nations Security Council and the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) about the deployment of extra peacekeeping force in the war-torn state.
Speaking to the media in Juba after a close door meeting with Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) chairman Festus Mogae and African Union Special Envoy to South Sudan Alpha Oumar Konaré., Kiir said his government “will not accept a single soldier” to back peacekeepers.
He said South Sudan has thousands of foreign troops under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and therefore any extra deployment is totally unacceptable which he would reject out rightly.
“No. We will not accept even a single soldier,”…There are over 12,000 foreign troops here in South Sudan,” he stressed.
“What do you need more forces for? What will they come and do? The UNMISS here has so many foreign troops. So we will not accept even a single soldier. We will not accept that,” Kiir added.
On the safety and whereabouts of his opponent and vice president Riek Machar, Kiir said he had a telephone conversation with Machar but it was difficult to convince him to comeback to Juba because he thought he wasn’t safe.
“I talked to Dr. Riek in the morning and asked him to come but it was difficult for him to accept. I asked him to talk to his ministers who are in a hotel in Juba to come out so we talk on what we should be doing (about the situation) but still there is resistance” he said
Kiir said Machar still thinks that his ministers who are in a hotel in Juba are not safe from government forces who are reportedly hunting them down.
Machars spokesperson James Gatdet told the media yesterday that the SPLM/A-IO has changed location of military base and their leader has been forced to flee Juba to avoid forces loyal to president Salva Kiir.
He also said their leader was committed to peace deal and not relaunching war
The United Nations Security Council in an impromptu meeting following renewed fighting in South Sudan recommended that regional neighbors to Africa’s youngest nation should come together and contribute a peace keeping force to protect civilians if need arises.
The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers met in Kenya and Monday and resolved that there was need for extra troops to back the UN mission in the young nation.