More attacks on UNMISS and Civilians, Does Salva Kiir Control His Army?
August 17, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Less than 24 hours after South Sudan president, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, assured the Transitional Legislative Assembly, UN and foreign ambassadors that he would protect civilians and humanitarian workers in the country, the military did the exact opposite, casting doubts if Salva Kiir controls the army.
In a broad daylight, at around 1pm on July 16 (yesterday), more than 150 soldiers in SPLA uniform and five mounted military trucks marched to the UNMISS compound, POC3 in Jebel, Juba.
The troops were barred from entering the compound by the overwhelmed UNMISS troops at POC3 as scared IDPs looked on from a distance.
According to eyewitnesses, the troops took more than 2 hours at UNMISS gate before retreating empty handed.
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The unaccomplished mission is unclear but the residents saw the SPLA-IG soldiers trying to tow cars belonging to IDPs, who are seeking refugee at the base; however, the UNMISS peacekeepers intervened and refused them to tow any car.
“The government soldiers who came 2hrs ago went back while UN reject them because the come to collect civilians’ cars at the UN gate and their mission is to target IDP the come with 5 military car and many soldiers a company those cars” said an eyewitness in POC3.
In the same morning, the army headquarters(Bilpham) dispatched two Mi-24 helicopters to Malakal and then to Nasir in Upper Nile State.
Although the mission to Upper Nile is yet to be determined, observers believe that Salva Kiir and his new ally, Gen. Taban Deng Gai, are supplying troops in Upper Nile to weight a new war on Machar’s headquarters of Pagak and its surrounding areas near Ethiopian borders.
According to sources from Malakal, the two Mi-24 helicopters landed in Malakal before proceeding to bomb in Nasir, a town that has been besieged by SPLA-IO for the last two weeks.
“On 16 August in the morning, Our sources observed two Mi-24 attack helicopters landing in Malakal fully loaded with ammunition and one fighter jet L-39s landing at Malakal airport.” Said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Around midday, Our sources in Nassir reported an ongoing aerial attack targeting SPLA-IO positions in Nassir, apparently by the two attack helicopters and the fighter jet that which landed earlier in Malakal. Reports received so far indicated that four bombs targeted Nassir town, while two bombs targeted the civilians area at Kedbek.” the source continued.
Less than 24 hours before these activities, president Salva Kiir opened the Transitional Parliament in Juba and assured that his leadership will protect civilians and aid workers in areas under his control.
“I instructed the Ministers of Defense and National Security to create a safe environment throughout the country that would make their movement and activities unthreatened and uninterrupted.” President Salva Kiir stated.
At the time of these violations, the Minister of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, has accompanied Taban Deng Gai to Nairobi.
The rampaging SPLA troops in Juba have targetted aid workers, ethnic minority groups and looted UN food stores in the capital.
Although president Salva Kiir has formed committees, assured investigation and strict punishments several times since 2013, no one has been held accountable for all the illicit crimes committed under the watch of the international community.
The region, AU and UNSC have now agreed to send in more foreign forces to provide security for civilians and national infrastructures in the country, an idea Salva Kiir’s faction is hesitance to embrace.