The Government of South Sudan is furious and is threatening to pull out of the African Union (AU) after uncovering what it calls a ‘dis-respectable’ plan by the African Union Commission (AUC) of Inquiry on South Sudan that undermines the sovereignty of South Sudan, conspires to overthrown the current democratically elected government and replace the historic flag of the country with a new one where the colours have been rearranged.
According to a spokesperson of the Government of South Sudan Internet Protection (GOSSIP) unit that uncovered the plan, the AUC Inquiry on South Sudan – chaired by former President of Nigeria H.E Olusegun Obasanjo – has been using the replacement flag in their official headed letters and on the official website of the AU for quite some time.
Further, the AUC uses a map that excludes the contested area of Abyei and 2 counties of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State and Warrap State from the recognized political boundaries of South Sudan.
“This is very irresponsible and disrespectful of the African Union to claim they recognize our independence and sovereignty and go behind our backs and do this. South Sudan – its boundaries and the revolutionary flag – came about as a result of sacrifices, and if AU does not see that, then we do not want to associate with it…” said the GOSSIP official.
Three senior officials of the AUC have already been asked to leave the Republic of South Sudan and their office in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, has been shut down as of Monday 23rd of June.
Two national staff, employed by the AUC to help with logistics and translation, have also been detained and are being questioned to determine their role in the conspiracy.
Recently, an executive secretary from IGAD – Intergovernmental Authority on Development – called the President of South Sudan (and his rebel counter-part) ‘stupid’ for pursuing military victory over a negotiated settlement. This latest scandal by the AU further demonstrates another, out of many cases, showing ‘sisterly’ African countries acting in total lack of respect and regard to the new nation.
The AUC, setup to investigate human rights and other abuses committed during the crisis, could not be reached for comments. However, the official website of the AU (http://au.int/en) still flies the flag that started this outcry by the government in Juba when Saakam went to press.
Meanwhile, South Sudanese in diaspora have voiced their support for the government and are demanding that the AU issue an apology to the people of the new struggling state for desecrating the historic and revolutionary flag of South Sudan. They have also demanded that it is time the AU officially recognize and add a 54th star in their logo and emblem that still depicts only 53 stars representing the members states minus South Sudan.
It is also not clear why the AU website has not listed the currency and country code of the new nation but GOSSIP – the government internet monitoring unit – believes that that is another careless attempt to undermine South Sudan’s membership in the Union.