UNMISS denies involvement in criminal activities

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The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has denied accusations of fostering criminal activity and harbouring armed elements in its site in Juba, accusations labeled against it by Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
YASMINSOOKA1“UNMISS rejects the allegations of impropriety in our operations, and in keeping with the UN mandate on protection of civilians, and the impartial nature of our actions,” UNMISS said.
In a statement to the media, UNMISS clarified about a recent incident where two SPLA soldiers in plain clothes were assaulted and held captive overnight in one of their sites. However, a formed police unit deployed immediately and conducted a successful rescue operation, the statement added.
UNMISS said the two individuals were later handed over to national authorities after receiving medical assistance by UNMISS force.
These allegations are coming soon after a team of United Nations human rights monitors visited the country last week and condemned the violation of women and girls by armed men.
Led by Yasmin Sooka (in picture), the team expressed concern over the diminishing space for civil society and the continued intimidation and harassment of journalists and media houses.
The team also expressed concern over ongoing impunity and lack of accountability for serious crimes, as well as human rights violations, without which, it said, lasting peace will not be achieved in the country.
These kinds of allegations are not new. UNMISS has always had an uneasy relationship with the government of President Salva Kiir, with accusations and counter-accusations flowing back and forth between the two groups.

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