JUBA (19 Jul.)
Ambrose Riiny Thiik, head of the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders warned on Monday that any attempt by the international community to send additional foreign troops to South Sudan to support UNMISS would not allowed.
The tribal lobby group headed by Ambrose is a strong supporter of the government of President Salva Kiir, claiming to represent the interests of the Dinka tribe, South Sudan’s largest.
Members of the council include politicians and relatives close to Kiir.
Riiny declared that the council stands by the decision of the government in rejecting a decision by the IGAD member countries to deploy a strong peacekeeping force to curb ongoing violence in the troubled country, urging the citizens to not welcome what he called an invading force.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on East African leaders to send reinforcements to ‘fortify’ UNMISS after several peacekeepers were killed and injured last week and protection of civilians camps were shelled.
Ambrose, however, says that some foreign powers want to invade the country to take the resources under cover of protection of civilians from harm.
“The council calls on the people of South Sudan to not be tempted and listen to those propagating proposal to send in additional foreign troops, which is a declaration of war and invasion of the country.”
He added, “There is no need for them, and if the planners insist, then the people have to rise and stand with the government.”
Riiny was responding to a request for comment on the proposal when reached on Monday.