National News

RFP must respect S. Sudan’s sovereignty-Political Parties

David Shearer availing the RPF (UNMISS photo)

By Morris Dogga

Fourteen political parties have issued a joint statement calling on the Regional Protection Force (RPF) to display a mutual cooperation and understanding with full respect to sovereignty of South Sudan.

The Fourteen political parties including the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) issued the statement yesterday following a symposium they held in Juba last month under the theme “Taking National Dialogue, peace Reconciliation and National healing to every heart and hut of South Sudan.”

According to the parties, the presence of the RPF has already raised tensions, as some citizens are nervous about their presence in the country.

“Therefore, the RPF must create genuine partnership with the government so as to avoid further conflict,” the statement reads.

The political parties said the International Community should seek the approval from the sovereign government of South Sudan on deployment of the RPF inside South Sudan.

This follows the arrival of the Rwandan contingent last month as part of the 4,000 Regional Protection Force authorized by the United Nations Security Council last year after the July fighting in Juba. Their deployment near the airport caused a row between the government and UNMISS.

After arrival of the RPF, the Special Representative of the Secretary General, David Shearer said the arrival of the force will enable the UN Mission in the country to free up additional peacekeepers to mount more patrols along insecure roads.

The resolution to  deploy 4,000 strong regional protection force by the United Nation Security Council in its Resolution 2304 (2016) came after forces loyal to the then first Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and those loyal to President Salva Kiir last year.

The UN said the force will provide protection to key facilities in the capital Juba and the main routes into and out of the city. It will also strengthen the security of UN Protection of Civilians sites and other UN premises.

Leaders of the political parties say they are getting complains from the citizens that why should there be deployment of foreign troops yet the country have the national army and police who are capable of protecting the country.

The parties further called on the government to update the Political Parties, the Transitional National Assembly and the citizens on the activities of the RPF.

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