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South Sudan forces assault UN commander

By Tom Mugisha, tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – South Sudan troops have assaulted a commander of the UN peacekeeping unit in Juba, the capital of the World’s youngest nation.

According to AFP, the South Sudanese forces stopped a UN convoy at gunpoint and beat the unit’s commander on September 21, 2016.

South Sudan government has previously accused the UN force of being of “colluding” with the armed opposition led Riek Machar.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday that South Sudan’s defence minister had apologised for the incident.

About 100 South Sudan soldiers “surrounded the convoy and pointed weapons at the vehicles,” AFP quoted a confidential report sent to the UN security council on Monday.

“At one point the contingent commander accompanying the convoy was physically assaulted before diverting to UN House,” in Juba, it added.

Guterres listed 17 incidents during the month of September when convoys were blocked, peacekeepers harassed and in some cases detained by South Sudan’s forces.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is scheduled to visit South Sudan next week as a new regional push to end the war that has displaced and killed tens of thousands since 2013 when the war broke out between forces loyal to Machar and government soldies.

Machar is living in exile in South Africa after he escaped heavy fighting in Juba last year, but the fighting rages on.

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