South Sudan: Demonstrators protest outside UN compound without incidents

20 July 2016

A thousand people today demonstrated in front of a United Nations compound in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, the UN Mission in the country announced, and dispersed without incidents after handing over a petition.

A thousand people today demonstrated in front of a United Nations compound in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and dispersed without incidents after handing over a petition, the UN Mission in the country announced.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported that the protestors gathered around the Tomping Compound, where tens of thousands of people had sought refuge from the latest bout of fighting in the country.

Some people initially threw stones at the gate, but dispersed after handing a petition to the Mission, reportedly against a proposal by the African Union to deploy a regional peacekeeping force to the country.

“A peacekeeping quick reaction force and formed police unit personnel were on the ground to control the crowd and no casualties were reported,” a UN spokesman, Farhan Haq, told reporters in New York.

The security situation has been unstable in Juba and elsewhere since the recent fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir and the SPLA in Opposition backing First Vice-President Riek Machar. Some 272 people, including 33 civilians, have been killed and at least 36,000 civilians displaced.

Yesterday, two national UN staff members were physically assaulted by youth protestors in Bor, following a speech by the local governor.

“UNMISS condemns physical attacks against its personnel and property and calls on all parties to respect the operations of the UN, its staff and assets,” Mr. Haq said today in reaction to the incident.

The UN Mission also raised concerns about increased levels of obstruction of its operations, after the Government announced today that flight safety assurances for its rotary wing aircrafts would only be granted for travels to the Greater Upper Nile and Greater Bahr el Ghazal regions.

“UNMISS is concerned by these developments, which are a clear violation of the Status of Forces Agreement signed with the Government, and which are preventing the UN from implementing its mandate in the country,” said Mr. Haq.

Despite restrictions of movement, the Mission continues to conduct patrols in Juba, including the areas known as the “protection of civilians” sites, he added.

 

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