July 18, 2018 (JUBA) – The French ambassador to South Sudan, Jean-Yves Roux was on Tuesday summoned over statements he made in relation to a United Nations report on human rights violations in Unity state.
- South Sudanese ambassador Baak Wol (courtesy photo)
The French envoy allegedly warned that South Sudan was on the verge of collapse and that there was urgent need to end violence, after a recent UN report documented horrendous human rights violations against civilians by the army and its allied forces between April and May in parts of Unity state.
At least 232 civilians were killed, including 35 children, 120 women and girls gang-raped in front of their family members and 132 women and girls abducted, according to extracts of the report.
But South Sudan government summoned the French ambassador to the war-torn nation to formally lodge a complaint over his remarks.
The undersecretary in South Sudan’s foreign ministry, Valentino Baak Wol said remarks made by the French envoy were “undiplomatic”.
“We have told him in the strongest terms possible that what he did was wrong,” Wol told reporters in the capital, Juba on Tuesday.
The foreign affairs ministry, the official further disclosed, sent a “note of protest” to the French government to “advise” its representative to South Sudan “to desist from such undiplomatic practices”.
“We shared with him [Roux] a protest note that was prepared by the ministry of foreign affairs based on a statement that he has made publically on Saturday, 14 July, during the celebration of the French National Day,” said Wol.
The official also accused the French diplomat of attacking South Sudan government using what he called a “discredited” report.
“In our opinion as a government, the UN report is bias,” he further stressed.
France was one of the countries that recognized South Sudan’s independence on 9 July 2011, but had representation to the autonomous South Sudan government since 2006.