South Sudan opposition faction under embattled leader Riek Machar is over-joyed United Nations directive to President Salva Kiir not to block the deployment of a third force.
Machar spokesperson James Gatdet Dak said the UN decision shows that the international community is in agreement with the opposition’s earlier appeal to deploy a regional force to harmonize hostilities in the city of Juba.
“Actually our leadership proposed the need to deploy a third party force in Juba as a buffer between the two rival national forces. It was part of the cessation of hostilities arrangement declared on July 11, 2016,” Riek Machar Media relations officer Dak said.
He said the deployment of forces especially in Juba to protect civilians from the hard and of their own government means a failed leadership which has turned against its citizen to “loots their property, kills, tortures and rapes them”.
“South Sudan under the leadership of Salva Kiir is irresponsible which has used and turned the state machinery against its own people. The army, the police and the other security organs are the ones looting the property of the citizens, raping their women and young girls, killing and torturing their own people, even in the heart of the city, Juba. It is a failed, perverted leadership,” he said.
The government of South Sudan agreed on Sunday to accept 4,000 extra peacekeepers in a bid to avoid an arms embargo threatened by the United Nations Security Council, but said the details of the deployment were still being discussed.
“To improve the security situation the Transitional Government of National Unity gave its consent to the deployment, as part of UNMISS, of the regional protection force,” the South Sudanese government and the Security Council said in a joint communique.
The 15-member council met with President Kiir’s cabinet, religious and civil society leaders and visited two U.N. compounds in Juba where tens of thousands of civilians have been sheltering amid nearly three years of violence.
Religious leaders in country appealed to the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to urgently deploy extra foreign troops
Anglican Archbishop Daniel Deng warned that “people have been made to believe it’s a tribal war.”
“What happened in Rwanda – we’re afraid it can happen in this country,” he told the Security Council, referring to the Hutu genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.
Catholic Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro described the planned deployment of a 4,000-strong regional protection force to ensure peace in Juba, authorized by the Security Council last month, as a “reconciliation force.”
“We need this help,” he said. “We cannot put our nation on the right track alone.”