The accusation by South Sudan President Salva Kiir that the United Nations peacekeeping mission is acting like a “parallel government” in his country is as incomprehensible as it is an expression totally lacking intact and sensitivity.
Instead of learning the lesson that a political dispute can very easily spin into a full scale conflict resulting in the loss of life and property, President Kiir seems to be tempting fate in extending the range of discord.
The UN has done very well in that country. An addition 5,500 peacekeepers are being deployed at great cost by the international community to bring the total force to 12,500, all intended to save lives.
This is a country in which hundreds of people are suffering because politicians failed to agree and retreated to tribal, ethnic and narrow cleavages in order to champion their equally narrow causes.
One would have expected the President to understand that his narrow interest for power is in direct conflict with the broader interest of the Sudanese people for peace harmony and tranquility.
Until the political dispute within Government quickly escalated to a violent confrontation, the Dinka and Nuir communities lived in total harmony, enjoying their newly won independence.
The country is now asunder as a result of political intolerance, in a very tragic turn of events.
The UN camps currently holding more than 70,000 displaced people serve as the only safe havens in which innocent civilians fleeing internecine can seek a measure of safety, refuge and an assurance of food. This is a conflict in which nearly 500,000 people have been displaced and over 1,000 others have been killed.
There is no doubt that without the UN camps many more people would have perished. Horrendous pictures have emerged of desolation, plunder and death in the various towns that have changed hands between the rebels and Government troops.
Indeed if it were not for the UN outposts little would have been known of the extreme suffering that the people of Southern Sudan were going through.
Therefore the suggestion that the UN compounds were hiding rebels and guns is incredulous, considering that most refugees at the centers are from minority tribes which came under attack in the conflict.
It is unthinkable that Nuir rebels would seek shelter in a camp that is populated by Dinka refugees. Their first reaction would be to report such infiltration.
It is a fact that both the rebels and regular soldiers have committed atrocies which have left civilians traumatized and certainly wary of the military.
The best President Kiir could have done, is seek a final settlement of the conflict, bring back peace and then proceed to create the appropriate atmosphere for confidence building and national healing that the country so badly needs.
Instead of antagonizing the international community that has stood by the victims of brutality, President Kiir should be working with the UN and other aid agencies to bring about reconciliation.
Political power is best exercised in an atmosphere of peace, tranquility and harmony.
This once-thriving place of 25,000 people has been reduced to a blackened shell, a ghost town.