The relationship between South Sudan and the United Nations is souring during a critical time of conflict and mass death inside the world's newest country.

After a month of fighting between the government and rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, the UN suddenly finds itself under verbal attack from South Sudan.

The president, Salva Kiir, has accused the top UN representative here of wanting to be co-president, and an Information Ministry spokesman said the UN has no respect for the government.

President Salva Kiir's spokesman on Wednesday continued the government's assault, saying the UN is sheltering armed rebels in its camp in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state.

In an interview with Al Jazeera's Jamal ElShayyal, Kiir also rejected UN allegations that his forces may have committed war crimes.

The UN on Wednesday pushed back publicly. "The UN recognises the legitimate and democratically elected
government of South Sudan, and [is] not taking sides during the conflict,'' said Ariane Quentier, a spokeswoman for the UN mission, on a UN radio station.

Source: Al Jazeera