French ambassador summoned over remarks on civilian killings
Ambassador of France Jean-Yves Roux/Eye Radio
By Jale Richard
The French Ambassador in Juba was yesterday summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation over remarks he made criticizing the government for civilians killed in the former Unity state.
The government protested Ambassador Jean-Yves Roux’s public statement in which he condemned the killing of hundreds of civilians in Unity State.
The United Nations report released early this month accused government forces and allied militias of alleged potential “war crimes” over a campaign of rape and killing that targeted civilians in opposition areas and villages of Unity State.
According to the UN human rights office, at least 232 civilians were killed and 120 women and girls raped during an offensive between 16th April and 24 May this year in the country’s former Unity state.
Ambassador Roux on Saturday during the celebration of the French Independence Day in Juba, said “All parties signed an agreement of cessation of hostilities in December. Which means that they committed to use force only to combat criminals or in self-defense. Shooting women and children in the back when they flee into the swamps, is this self-defense? No, it’s murder. Raping and killing lactating mothers, is it fighting criminals? No, it is committing a crime.”
The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Baak Valentino Wol told journalists that the ministry summoned the French ambassador in Juba to share with him a protest note on his statement attacking the government based on a one sided report.
“It was unfortunate that the ambassador of France chose to use the Independence Day as an opportunity to launch an attack on our government using a report that was produced by the UNMISS Human Rights commission, a report that has been questioned, discredited and termed biased report,” Baak Valentino Wol said.
He added that ambassador’s statements were undiplomatic and unacceptable.