South Sudanese In Canada Heap More Pressure On UNMISS

Ms Hilde F. Johnson has come under increased pressure following the confiscation of the suspicious arms by security personnel in Rumbek. [Gurtong file]

In a petition addressed to heads of International bodies including UN Secretary General, IGAD Chairperson and US President Barack Obama, the 352 signatories asked for an immediate replacement of Ms Hilde F. Johnson to “give peace a chance” among the citizens.

The group which called themselves South Sudanese Concerned citizens in the City of Calgary, AB, Canada, said they strongly condemned the “negative” roles of the UNMISS under Ms Johnson in South Sudan.

“Head of UNMISS, Hilde Johnson has interfered in the state affairs of South Sudan’s current crisis.  Instead of working for peace, reconciliation and protection among South Sudanese Citizens, she has become part of the conflict,” the document partly reads

The citizens and government officials have been disappointed by what UNMISS called an “error” in labeling general goods that turned out to be arms and ammunitions which were impounded by security officers in Rumbek early this month.

The citizens feared the arms could have been destined to the rebels in Unity state but UNMISS has continuously refuted it saying it was a shipment for the Ghanaian battalion.

To clear doubts, the UN sent a high level team to investigate the error and has already completed its work only awaiting compilation.

“The March 6th seizure of a UN arms smuggling of 12 trucks declared to be food and construction materials, which contains Landmines, RPGs and other lethal riffles, confirmed that (Ms) Johnson and some individuals within UNMISS are aiding the current South Sudanese conflict,” the demonstrators said.s

“Instead of providing protection and peace keeping in those compounds as the main UNMISS mandate, Hilde Johnson disregarded her mission and became the weapons supplier for rebels.”

The group said Ms Johnson never blames rebels for committing atrocities in the country but always blames the Juba government.

She persistently kept denying massacres committed by rebels in Bor, Malakal, Bentiu, Pariang, Gadiang, Baliet and Duk Payuel among other areas where mass graves were found, the document added.

Ariik Chol Ariik, a participant in the protest said: “The peaceful protest against UNMISS’ action by smuggling weapons in South Sudan caused anger among South Sudanese in Diaspora. Calgary Concerned South Sudanese went out in a cold weather of minus -12 or cold weather below zero by 12 to make this call heard.”

Despite this criticism, UNMISS continues to provide basic services and protection to thousands of displaced persons in its bases, in Juba, Malakal, Bor and others.

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