The United Kingdom Ambassador to South Sudan has maintained that he will continue to call out any violation of the peace agreement in South Sudan regardless of the party involved.
This comes after the National Salvation Front under General Thomas Cirillo criticized Ambassador Chris Trott for condemning the attack on the convoy of the Vice President two weeks ago.
Six officers were killed in the incident along the Juba-Lobonok road. NAS claimed responsibility for the attack.
Amb. Trott then told the state television, SSBC, that the attack was wrong and demanded that the holdout armed groups be included in the ceasefire monitoring body, CTSAMVM, where they can be held accountable for their actions.
In a statement, NAS described the ambassador’s comments as shocking, saying it was made without verifying all violations in a credible manner.
NAS expects the ambassador to also condemn the activities of the government and the SPLA-IO that it says is a clear violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement.
It cited UN reports that documented the killing, raping, burning of houses and displacement of civilians in Central Equatoria as a result of the military offensive, it alleges were against NAS defensive positions.
The statement signed by NAS spokesperson, Suba Samuel, further described the ambassador’s remarks as “unfortunate and hurtful” to the suffering people of South Sudan.
But in response, Amb. Trott told Eye Radio that he had been calling for an end to all forms of violence in the country.
“I’m sorry that this is a spokesman who seems to have got a little bit carried away with his statement. I am very balanced; I call for the end of all violence. I talk about Jonglei all the times; I talk about Tonj,” the diplomat stressed.
The Ambassador insists on continuing to denounce any action that threatens peace in South Sudan.
“You know any violence in this country right now is a threat to the peace process. What we have always called on NAS to do is to honor the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement which they signed voluntarily in December 2017, and honor the Rome Agreement that was signed earlier this year – which again reiterated that they would not be undertaking this kind of military offensives.”
NAS has, however, reiterated its commitment to Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the Rome Declaration, but maintained that it reserves the right to self-defense.
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Published Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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