The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has apologized to foreign heads of mission and UN agencies for inconveniences caused during the recent disarmament exercise in Juba City.
Minister Dr. Pitia Morgan made the remarks while briefing heads of diplomatic missions and UN agencies in Juba on Friday.
It’s not clear what concerns foreign missions in Juba raised regarding the five-day roads and house-to-house search in the national capital.
But the unannounced search caught many by surprise, prompting the SSPDF spokesperson General Lul Rua to apologize to non-governmental organizations over similar concerns.
Addressing foreign diplomats Dr. Morgan said if his ministry was aware of the exercise, it would have done what was supposed to be done.
“Unfortunately, the ministry wasn’t aware of it, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could have done what was supposed to be done but the intention was good, it’s about security, and every one of us living in this city to be protected, ” he said.
However, he said, although the intention of the search was good, the diplomatic community which is protected by international conventions, should always be respected.
“We in the diplomatic community believe that you are protected by international conventions and this immunity given to you should always be respected.”
According to Morgan, he protested the move but vowed such incidents will not happen again.
“It is also our apologies to you although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has protested on your behalf that this shouldn’t happened.
“Take it from us that this will not happen again, the government of South Sudan is responsible for your security and every person living in South Sudan’s territory,” he implored.
However, Morgan emphasized the government’s determination to collect arms from unauthorized individuals, to create a safe and secure environment for all, including the diplomatic community.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to fostering relations with all countries and advancing the interests of South Sudan while expressing his gratitude to all the foreign ambassadors and UN agencies’ representatives for their continuous support and cooperation.
Meanwhile, the Head of Mission of Sweden Ambassador Hilding Lundkvist called on the government to provide contacts for communication in case of any emergency.
“We encouraged the government to provide a number 24/7 for emergencies that any officers could call. we are calling on the director of the protocol number in case there is any emergency case we can be informed,” he appealed.
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