South Sudan not a failed state for airport takeover: official

September 6, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s First Vice President Taban Deng Gai has questioned the decision of the United Nations mission in the country to deploy at the airport, saying the nation was not a failed state for its key infrastructure and installations to be taken over.

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South Sudan’s first Vice President Taban Deng Gai addresses the UN General Assembly (UN Photo/Cia Pak)

Gai told the state owned television (SSBC) that government has no problem with the UN presence in the country, but the mandate has to be clear and acceptable to the people as well as government.

“We don’t have problem with the protection of civilians for example, we don’t have problem with the protection of the human UN relief agents for example, but what about the airport why do you take the airport? The airport is functioning well,” said Gai.

“South Sudan is not a failed so why take over the airport”? he asked.

The senior South Sudanese official said they would not accept unilateral actions and decisions taken without seeking their views and approval from the United Nations and other organizations.

“We will not accept and we will say it here that look that we are a member state and we should be treated like any member state. The member states of the United Nations are equal. There should not be special treatment to others. We are all equal members,” he said.

Gai, a former rebel chief negotiator during the peace talks between the government and armed opposition appealed for aid, saying South Sudan was looking for support to build and foster democracy.

“We are coming here to appeal to them that look it is time to help us building the country, stand with the leadership because it is only two and half years or three years where we shall have elections then people elect their leaders,” he said.

“By nature, we are democratic people. We are liberal people. We are not people who build dictators. That why we rose against dictatorship in Khartoum,” he explained.

He said the 17,000 troops of the UN in the country as authorized by the 15-member Security Council are “doing nothing” in the country.

“As I am talking to you, we already have 13000 UN troops in South Sudan which are sitting idle, they are not doing anything because they have problem with their mandate. And their problem is also threatening them how they were selected, objective for what. So they hurried with the numbers adding more 4000 to be 17000 to be in a small country like South Sudan”, Gai further told SSBC television.

The South Sudanese First Vice President is scheduled to visit and address the UN General assembly in New York later this month.