Airport Crisis: Did the Regional Protection Forces (RPF) overstep their mandate?

Posted: August 28, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Martin Ariel Majak, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

In the current diplomatic standoff between UNMISS and the government of South Sudan over the control of Juba International Airport (JIA), have the Regional Protection Forces (RPF) overstepped their UN mandate?

By Martin Ariel Majak, Alexandria, Egypt

August 28, 2017 (SSB) — Last week or so, there was an intense standoff between SPLA forces and the UN sanctioned Regional Protection Forces around the airport area, which prompted the government to ground UN flights in the middle of the feud.

The friction came about UN forces wanting to encamp around the airport, something the government said could not happen, as it was never stipulated in the agreement that they would be in that place.

Surely allowing this UN forces in the vicinity of the airport would have amounted to surrendering the sovereignty of our nation to a foreign force. Airport is such a vital installation in any country.

So the question is, what did they really want to go and do in the airport? To go and protect what there? Airplanes or what? Because you can’t tell me that there lived some civilians in the airport who needed protection.

Go to protect innocent civilians in the residential areas such as Gudele, 107, Gure, Jebel and many other places. I don’t know if protecting the airport was included in one of the clauses in the agreement.

Did the RPF overstep their powers? I guess so but there’s something bigger behind this. RPF never came as a protection force. They have come to do something other than protecting the civilians.

History suggests that this is not the first time UN has had brushes with the laws of our land. They have on numerous occasions acted suspiciously.

Last time, they were caught red handed shipping armaments to rebels concealed in trucks loaded with food aid. The government was soft in responding to that and I guess that was what emboldened them to think again of doing another thing.

This time, they wanted the airport which needed some show of force and strength from the SPLA for them to back off.

I don’t know what other big things UN has to do for their intentions to be known.

So, it leaves me wondering, what next? A march to J1 or Bilpam in the future? That may seem as a wild imagination but rule out that scenario at your own risk.

What I foresee, but which is unlikely to happen, is the idea of forced UN trusteeship in the event they dethrone the incumbent government. The kind of thing many exiled prominent politicians like Pagan Amum have been advocating for.

I would rather wish any rebel leader be it Riek or Olony to lead our country than support UN take full control of our country.

It has to be said that all is not perfect with the ruling government but that does not mean we replace it with a UN led government.

That would solve nothing if not worsen everything and would serve as a sign of abdicating the responsibility of us ruling ourselves. We did not fight the long war of liberation in order for us to be governed by UN.

UN, at the behest of some powerful countries, has got some dirty records, indicting it of involvements in changing regimes in many countries. We better hope they don’t do the same in our country.

The writer is a medical student in Alexandria University, Egypt. He can be reached on Twitter at @arielmajak93

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

  1. 888888 says:

    good questions Mr. poster, but the next questions that you can answer since you had had accepted to speak for our government instead of the official spoke person in person of Makuei Lueth are: protecting from who and why? who is endangering their (the civilians) lives? where does the sovereignty begins? what are the main pillars that legalized any government to claimed any country sovereignty? what are main duties a government of the day ought to carry out for it to earn a respect from its citizens and the international community under the international laws? where are we now as people of this young nation? does our country exists according to you without prejudices? do we deserve the status quo till next year 29th August 2018? are you happy with the direction country is taking? would you be happy to hear that million plus of the very citizens who voted for the country independence are forced to be refugees? do you support what these self politicians are doing destroying the country at our youthful watch? are you benefiting from its destruction in any way?


    • The imperfections of the government in running the country can’t not be solved by UN as the replacement. Yes, it is all known and I agree that the government is not delivering services, that the government is the burden onto the citizens, and that the government has to change! But how do we come to that change? This is where there’s confliction with many wanting UN to take over the country while others call for the change within! And I go with the latter.


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