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South Sudan renews rejection to regional protection force

January 10, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan government now says it will not accept the deployment of regional protection forces, claiming the country’s security situation has improved.

South Sudan’s defence minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, pictured following a cabinet meeting in Juba on 17 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

In an interview with Sudan Tribune, the presidential advisor on security affairs, Tut Gatluak questioned whether it was still necessity to send regional protection forces.

“They were talking about security but now security situation has improved. Juba is safe and everyone is the witness. The Christmas and New Year celebrations went well, now you can move freely because security situation has improved. The national dialogue has been launched and the agreement is being implemented," said Gatluak.

The cantonment sites for SPLA-IO forces have been agreed and directives have been given for them to move into these area. Everything is moving well”, he added.

South Sudan’s defence minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk equally dismissed claims that fighting still existed in Juba hence the need to justify deployment of the protection force.

“We acknowledge that there are problems in South Sudan and it is our duty as government to resolve these challenges," Juuk told a social gathering held in Juba.

He accused the United Nations of compiling reports from individuals in order to justify calls for the deployment of the regional protection force and to back up other voices.

Juuk rejected demands for revival of the peace accord, calling upon the international community to support the unity government to help restore peace and stability in the country.

“There are individuals now calling for renegotiation on the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. This is interference with another country’s sovereignty, and we totally reject that, I also call upon South Sudanese citizens to reject this. We are not toys, but a nation, “ he stressed.