The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is concerned about a number of incidents that have recently occurred, disrupting the Mission’s operations and exposing its personnel to serious security risks.
On 6 May, during a meeting between H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the President reiterated the Government’s commitment to cooperate fully with UNMISS, and indicated that he had conveyed clear instructions to this effect to all security institutions and State Governors in the country.
The Mission deplores the fact that in the last weeks, notwithstanding this commitment, some security forces and local authorities have assaulted and illegally detained two UNMISS’ staff members in Juba; and - despite clearances – there has been several incidents of restricted or denied access for UNMISS patrols in Unity and other states. Also among opposition forces we have experienced similar unacceptable impediments.
These acts are in clear violation of the mutually agreed legal framework for the UN’s work in South Sudan, the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). As per article 48 of the SOFA, the Government of South Sudan must take measures to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of UNMISS personnel.
The Mission calls on the Government of South Sudan to immediately investigate these violations and bring the perpetrators to justice. The Mission also demands that all parties ensure unhindered freedom of movement to the United Nations, and safety for the staff. This is of utmost importance for the operations of the Mission.