South Sudan wants the UN peacekeepers accused of sexual offences in Wau town to be tried by the local court.
Foreign ministry official John Andruga urged the UN office in Juba not to smuggle out the culprits accused of abusing the trust of innocent women and girls inside the protection camp in Wau (west of Juba) last month.
“The case of the sexual offences committed by the UN police should opened in Wau town where the crime happened and the victims are based,'' Mr Duku said.
“Justice must be done to the women and the people of Wau,” he said.
Mr Duku said the South Sudan government was in contact with the victims of the sexual offences.
A complaint was received on February 8 alleging that the UN police officers in Wau had committed sexual offences against the women and girls residing inside the local UN civilians’ protection camp.
So far, UNMISS has relocated 46 of its police officers from Wau to Juba and has announced that it would conduct an internal investigation into the sexual offences allegations.
However, Mr Duku condemned the incident and called for the UN to account for the matter.
“There must be accountability for the UN leadership whether in Juba or New York because expelling the culprits is not enough to restore the confidence entrusted to the UN mission by the people of South Sudan,” Mr Duku said.
He regretted that the international community and foreign missions in South Sudan had not condemned the incident.
“If it were the government army who committed this crime, the international community and the foreign missions here in South Sudan would have quickly issued press statements condemning the act. It is shocking to see them keeping silent now on this sexual offence committed by the UN police,” he said.
A Juba Foreign undersecretary, Mr Valentino Bak, echoed Mr Duku's sentiments, saying the UN mission in South Sudan was not living up to its objectives and mandate and had violated the international human rights law.
“We urged the UNMISS to agree to an independent or joint investigation, and not to smuggle out the culprits until these allegations are investigated and offenders brought to book,” Mr Bak said.