The Office of the President has rejected the recent report by the UN panel of experts suggesting that despite the signing of the new peace deal, South Sudan is likely to slide back to chaos.
It cited activities of the hold-out groups under generals Paul Malong and Thomas Cirilo in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Yei River areas.
In the report, the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said cattle herders, who have a history of having been integrated into the armed groups, no longer wield only wooden sticks but are equipped with AK-47s and heavy weapons like rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.
In some cases, Yasmin Sooka, the chairperson, said these arms are reportedly supplied by local authorities and politicians using herders as proxy elements to kill and displace communities.
In response, the presidential secretary Ateny Wek Ateny insists that the report does not reflect what is happening on the ground.
“How can they see the improvement when they are not here? I think the improvement that has happened after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement is quite symbolic and is recognized by the people of South Sudan. If there are people who call themselves experts and they don’t recognize the peace and that things have changed specifically after the signing, then those people who are there to just talk negatively about South Sudan.”
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