South Sudan undeclared ammo issue resolved amicably

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The arrival of 16 boxes of undeclared ammunition with a contingent rotating into South Sudan for a tour of duty with the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission UNMISS appears to have been amicably resolved.

The ammunition was apparently aboard an aircraft carrying a troop rotation from an unnamed country. An UNMISS statement has it the country of origin is not made public until such time as it is formally notified of the alleged transgression by the world body.

The ammunition, calibre and type not disclosed, was among cargo on a charter flight that touched down in Juba on 6 February.

“The ammunition was not declared on the manifest provided to, and cleared by, the Government of South Sudan.

“The contingent did not advise UNMISS it intended to transport ammunition and, furthermore, had been informed by the mission in advance of the flight that ammunition should not be included in the cargo as there was no clearance for these items.

“When the ammunition was discovered by UNMISS while the cargo was being unloaded, the mission immediately informed all relevant authorities in the Government of South Sudan,” the statement reads.

It ends quoting UNMISS Head and UN Secretary-General Special Representative Nicholas Haysom as saying: “I would like to underscore UNMISS itself took immediate action to alert the South Sudanese authorities to this regrettable incident as soon as we became aware”.

“It is important to be open and honest in these situations and the mission is working closely with government to address this issue,”

It will also be taken up with with the troop contributing country (TCC) concerned for further action.

The UN lists the top 10 TCCs to UNMISS as Rwanda (2 648), India (2 400), Nepal (1 751), Bangladesh (1 630), China (1 053), Mongolia (872), Ethiopia (834), Ghana (731), Pakistan (288) and Thailand out of a total 19 101 uniformed personnel serving in the world’s youngest country.