Since the peace agreement of 2005 that ended the civil war between north and south Sudan, the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan ( UNMISS ) is to protect the civilian population and to support the government in Juba in the strengthening of democratic institutions .
With the outbreak of civil war between President Salva Kiir and the rebel coalition led by Dr. Riek Machar and Rebecca Garang , UNMISS has often been suspected of taking an active part in supporting the rebels, thus committing a serious violation of the principle of neutrality of United Nations peacekeeping .
Evidences about the support of the rebellion arrived Friday, March 7 when the South Sudanese army intercepted a convoy of UN weapons for the militia Riek Machar .
The weapons were hidden in a convoy of 13 trucks UNMISS directed to the town of Bentiu in Unity State passing through the town of Rumbek . Thanks to the information received by Uganda Intelligence, the army were intercepted at Rumbek , in Lake State.
On board of the 13 trucks hired by various companies to transport southern Sudanese was discovered a large quantity of weapons, including heavy machine guns , Kalashnikovs , RPG rocket launchers , American rifles, anti-personnel mines , bayonets, dozens of boxes of ammunition and rockets , communication equipment, satellite equipment and binoculars night vision.
This incredible arsenal of war had been hidden in two containers of 20 feet behind the sacks of cement. Officially, the convoy was transporting construction materials intended for the Ghanaian contingent of UNMISS based in Bentiu . The arsenal and the trucks were requisitioned while the southern Sudanese drivers were arrested for being subjected to interrogations . No arrest has been made by UN staff as it enjoys diplomatic protection .
The South Sudanese Minister of Information : Michael Makuei Lueth in a press release informs that the nature of the weapons and false documents transport of building materials were irrefutable evidences that the cargo was destined to Riek Machar rebel forces, who want to lunch a major offensive after regaining the city of Malakal .
The Special Representative of the UN in South Sudan Hilda Johnson admitted the transport of weapons, stating that it was intended to Ghanaian troops stationed in Bentiu and not to the rebels.
According to Johnson the misunderstanding with South Sudan military authorities has been caused by an error on the way bill. The entire cargo was recorded under the heading: building materials instead of specifying the existence of two containers of arms. “This is an unforgivable mistake because it has created suspicion and doubts that risk to give a wrong signal.” says Hilda Johnson reassuring the government in Juba on the neutrality of the United Nations in the ongoing conflict .
The official explanation given by UNMISS is considered by South Sudanese authorities and Ugandan army contingent in this country, as unrealistic. How is it possible that the well-known bureaucratic machinery of the United Nations , can forget to mention in the way bill two containers of weapons erroneously passed off as construction materials and protected behind two initial lines of bags of cement , in a country in civil war ?
The transport of arms and ammunition for UNMISS bases scattered in South Sudan should be the subject of a formal request for authorization addressed to the South Sudanese military (SPLA ) and the Operational Command of the Ugandan army ( UPDF ) under the responsibility of the General Muhoozi , son of President Yoweri Museveni .
Agreements between UNMISS , the government in Juba and the UPDF , impose the transport of weapons entirely by air with the presence on board of military aircraft of the South Sudanese and Ugandan officials who have the task of ensuring that the arms shipment is received effectively by UN troops .
The procedure for the transport of war material has been confirmed by the spokesman of the United Nations Arianne Quentier, in an interview with the BBC Focus on Africa, informing of the imminent arrival of an investigative team sent by the UN Headquarters in New York to participate in the inquiries combined with the government and the Ugandan army on the incident . The investigation team has arrived in Juba Thursday, March 13 .
Friday, March 14th has been issued in the capital a popular demonstration of protest against the United Nations. The population of South Sudan has accused the United Nations to help the rebellion , demanding the resignation of the Special Representative of the UN in South Sudan , Hilda Johnson. There are strong suspicions that the event was not spontaneous but organized by the Government .
The weapons disguised as building material are irrefutable evidence of the involvement of peacekeepers in favor of one of the actors of the conflict South Sudan . An evidence that, the Government of Uganda to Juba and intelligence services were trying to find since last January.
The United Nations have failed to prevent leaks received by the regional media over a week late . They still managed to minimize the severity of the accident at the international media who have devoted little attention to the news by preventing its correct and proper disclosure.
UNMISS has been suspected of helping the rebellion since the outbreak of the Civil War December 15, 2013 , when Dr. Riek Machar managed to avoid arrest and flee from Juba with the complicity of the UNMISS personnel.
In January 2014, President Salva Kiir accused the UN to implement a parallel government in the country.
In February 2014, the Ugandan intelligence services had informed about an another load of weapons disguised as humanitarian aid destined to the rebel forces present in Unity State . Unfortunately, the information had come too late to prevent the south Sudanese army to intercept the convoy before it arrived at the UN base in Bentiu .
Conclusive evidence of the supply of weapons to the rebels discredit the work of the United Nations in Africa and its alleged neutrality , coming to a unacceptable degeneration that transforms UN peacekeeping in supply facilitator of weapons bought by the Western powers and intended to guerrillas or African governments according to the covenants and conventions.
The discovery of undeclared shipment of arms has been extremely helpful to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who has been able to impose to IGAD ( Inter -Governmental Authority for Development) the political orientation of Uganda on the crisis in South Sudan.
IGAD has revised its initial position deleting the request of withdrawal of Ugandan troops from South Sudan, accused of not being neutral , supporting the President Salva Kiir .
At a distance of one week from the start of the third stage of peace talks in Addis Ababa , scheduled for March 20 , IGAD has dissociated itself from the United Nations , and the Western Troika: Britain, Norway and the United States who are attempting to impose a solution of an Interim Government excluding both President Salva Kiir and its rival Dr. Riek Machar.
IGAD and regional countries have been against the idea that can likely to worsen the situation of the conflict as the various militias that make up the army could take advantage of the weakness of an interim government and take the control over the country.
On the contrary, IGAD has officially proposed a roadmap for peace that forecast democratic reform of the ruling party : the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM ) , the drafting of the final text of the Constitution that languishes in Parliament since 2012, and a detailed schedule for ensure transparent elections during the elections expected in April 2015, airing the possibility of a referral if there will not be present the necessary conditions to ensure the opening of polling stations throughout the country and a peaceful atmosphere.
IGAD asked to President Salva Kiir the annulment of the trial for high treason and the immediate release of the four detainees arrested December 15, 2013: former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum, Oyai Deng Ajak former Minister of National Security , Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth former Ambassador to the United States, and Majak D’ Agoot former Deputy Minister of Defense. The trial of the four detainees in Juba has started March 12 with a large presence of Western diplomats . Eleven senior officials and southern Sudanese Ministers were arrested on December 15 on charges of attempting a coup. Seven of them were released and handed over to the Kenyan authorities in January 2014.
IGAD has also opposed the Obama administration regarding the request of the withdrawal of Ugandan troops as the government in Juba has strong suspicions that the Western powers intend to force the resignation of President Salva Kiir in favor of Riek Machar . Without UPDF support of the Government of Salva Kiir would fall in less than a week .
The IGAD announced that the military contingent : Protection and Deterrent Force ( PDF) will be operational in South Sudan in the middle of next April with the aim of monitoring the observance of the cease-fire , facilitate national reconciliation and protect the population suffering from attempts at ethnic cleansing. Until the African military contingent will not be active the UPDF is allowed to remain in South Sudan. The IGAD did not specify whether the Ugandan army will take part in the mission PDF and even if it will be handed the command to UPDF.
The unexpected political change of IGAD represent a strategic victory for President Museveni who has convinced the other African States to align in the protection of the President Salva Kiir, preventing the rebellion to seize power .
Decisions taken by IGAD show a clear crisis between African countries and the Western powers , reinforcing suspicions that the continent is heading towards a rebalancing of power through cooperation with alternatives partners such as Brazil, China and Russia and cutting the umbilical cord binds to France , Britain and the United States. A process highlighted by the strategic diplomatic conflict between the West and Africa on the future of South Sudan.
“The hypocrisy of the United Nations , already amply demonstrated in DRC, seems to have no limits . UN condemns the UPDF support of the democratically elected government of South Sudan, accusing Uganda of being partial and at the same time UN provide weapons to the rebel labeling them as building materials or humanitarian aid. “notes a Lieutenant in Uganda under the protection of anonymity.
The protection of the “democratically elected government” , inevitably passes through the neutralization of the military rebellion that may risk to prolonging the conflict in South Sudan . An extremely difficult and dangerous game that could turn into a boomerang for President Museveni despite the diplomatic victories that is recording and the massive military presence on the ground.