South Sudanese security officials on Monday temporarily detained and eventually prevented four national staff working for the United Nations Mission in the country (UNMISS) from leaving Juba airport after confiscating their passports and identity cards.
The four were among nearly 30 officials heading for a training organised in Uganda. They were to travel on the mission’s aircraft. The detained staff were only set free after senior UNMISS officials reportedly intervened and brought them back to the UN compound.
South Sudan’s Machar meets president Zuma in Pretoria
South Sudanese former vice-president, turned rebel leader, Riek Machar, has met the South African president Jacob Zuma at the State House in Pretoria, rebel leader’s spokesman has announced.
The two leaders had a lengthy cordial meeting on Wednesday evening, Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, said.
“The meeting discussed a wide-range of issues pertaining to the ongoing peace process in Addis Ababa,” he said, without giving further details, adding that Machar also briefed the South African leadership about the genesis of the crisis which started in the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).
At least 58 people have been killed while lying in their hospital beds since conflict erupted in South Sudan in mid-December last year, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said.
“The conflict has at times seen horrific levels of violence, including against healthcare facilities,” Raphael Gorgeu, the head of MSF Holland, said at a press conference in the capital, Juba, on Wednesday.
Violence flared among the presidential guards unit in Juba on 15 December following escalating political tensions within the ruling SPLM, quickly spreading to other regions.