South Sudan explains why UN relief coordinator was expelled

he South Sudanese government has explained circumstances under which it expelled Toby Lanzer, the United Nations relief coordinator in the country.

South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny (AFP)
South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny (AFP)

The spokesperson for the presidency said the council of ministers reached the decision during its weekly meeting held on Friday last week.

“This [decision] came as a result of council of ministers’ resolution against the background of the statement he has made that is not responsible completely,” Ateny told reporters on Tuesday.

He described UN official as an “enemy”, who allegedly predicted that the South Sudanese economy would collapse, a statement in “violation” of his UN mandate.

“And Toby Lanzer’s statement was not giving hope to people of South Sudan given that he was predicting the collapse, the total collapse [of the country],” he said at a briefing in the capital, Juba.

On Tuesday, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon condemned the expulsion of the Lanzer, urging South Sudan government to reverse its decision towards the UN envoy.

But Ateny said only president Salva Kiir had the prerogative to reverse the council of ministers’ decision, which held at the moment.

“If a country collapses, it will be rule of guns that will prevail and so anybody who makes statements that would not give hope to people of South Sudan is an enemy of South Sudan,” he stressed.

South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth accused the former UN relief coordinator of uttering “misleading” statements.

“That guy [Lanzer] has been making untruthful statements,” he said.

Source: ST