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IGAD, Troika condemn attack on CTSAMVM team by South Sudan forces

Outgoing CTSAMM Monitors lining up before their medal ceremony to recognize their contribution to to mission 19 March 2018 (CTSAMM Photo)
Outgoing CTSAMM Monitors lining up before their medal ceremony to recognize their contribution to to mission 19 March 2018 (CTSAMM Photo)

December 21, 2018 (JUBA) – The IGAD and Troika countries condemned the recent assault on the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mission (CTSAMVM) team by South Sudanese soldiers while they conducting their activities in Luri area of Jubek state, Central Equatoria.

In a statement released on Saturday, the IGAD Council of Ministers said they learned with “deep shock” about the detention, physical assault and abuse perpetrated upon CTSAMVM team by men in military uniform and civilian attires of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

The East African bloc said the attack brings into question the commitment of the South Sudanese government to ensure that all its forces understand and respect the Agreement in spirit and in letter. Also, it sends a message to CTSAMVM members and institutions that their safety and security is at risk in the country.

“The IGAD Council of Ministers condemns the violation and calls upon the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan to immediately investigate the violation, bring the perpetrators and their pertinent superiors to justice, and apologize the victims and the countries they represent for the criminal act committed and notify the Council on measures taken as a matter of urgency,” said the statement.

In a report to the IGAD Council of Minister, the head of CTSAMVM said the four-member team had been detained for four hours in the facility of National Security Service (NSS).

According to the report, a female colonel from the Ethiopian army was forced to remove all her clothing and remain completely naked. A Sudanese army colonel and Kenyan army major were also forced to strip their clothes.

In a separate statement, the Troika including United States, Norway, and the UK, joined the IGAD in condemning the “appalling harassment and abuse” of CTSAMVM monitors.

“We are particularly concerned at reports that the attack on the monitors was carried out by the South Sudanese National Security Service. It is imperative that the Government of South Sudan investigate and hold accountable those found responsible,” said the Troika.

The Troika further stressed that any action compromising the safety, integrity, and free movement of the CTSAMVM mission is a breach of the September 12th Peace Agreement, to which the Government of South Sudan is a party.

(ST)