South Sudan disappointed by “misleading” UK envoy statement on training of VIP protection forces

South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir attends a medals awarding ceremony for long serving servicemen of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the Bilpam, military headquarters in Juba. Photo: Reuters

January 17th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government has said in a statement this afternoon that it was disappointed by what it said is a misleading statement by the British Ambassador to the country over the training of the VIP protection unit.

This morning, the British Ambassador to South Sudan, Christopher Trott, said his country was concerned by the absence of government forces at the training site of the VIP protection unit.

The British diplomat said only opposition forces from the country’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) were only present at the training site.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said it was disappointed by the British diplomat statement saying he was misleading and said South Sudan government forces were presence at the VIP protection training sites.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFA&IC) of the Republic of South Sudan would like to inform the general public, the members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Republic of South Sudan, and media outlets that the information circulated by the media outlets based on the statement made by the United Kingdom Ambassador in Juba, Ambassador Chris Trott on the situation in regards to the number of the joint forces in Gorom Training Center, in which he stated that there is disparity in the number of forces, is misleading and inaccurate,” the statement seen by Nyamilepedia partly read.

“He visited Gorom Training Center yesterday, and today made a statement to the media that the Government forces are zero, but the opposition forces are present,” the statement added.

“The Government of South Sudan would like to clarify and inform the public that the number of the joint forces reported by Amb. Trott is incorrect.

“Here is the actual numbers of the joint forces in Gorom Training Center: 1) The Government forces is 1,500 and have been in Gorom for the last 3 months. 2) The SPLM-In Opposition forces is 400 and have been in Gorom for the last 20 days.

“Therefore, the Government would like to express its disappointment and advises the Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Juba to give factual information on such visits, and especially at this crucial time, where the Government is doing all possible to maintain peace in the country.

“The government seize this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to the full implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement in letter and spirit.”

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