News / Africa

South Sudan Peace Protesters Rail Against UN

  • Demonstrators at a peace rally in Juba on Monday, March 10, 2014, carried anti-UN signs.
  • South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga addresses demonstrators at a peace rally in Juba on Monday, March 10, 2014.
  • A woman holds up a hand-written sign at a government organized peace demonstration in Juba on March 10, 2014.
  • Protesters march down a street in Juba on Monday, March 10, 2014 during a peace rally organized by the government.
  • A protester holds up an sign against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson at a peace rally in Juba.
South Sudan Demonstrators Rail Against UN
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
Thousands of young people in South Sudan took part in rallies organized by the government Monday, calling for peace in the young country and accusing the United Nations of colluding with anti-government forces.

As a police band led hundreds of demonstrators through the streets of Juba, 22-year-old Lemi Samuel said he had come to the rally to show his support for President Salva Kiir.

“Coming here means we want to show the world that there is no president who is elected democratically that can be withdrawn just like that," Samuel told VOA.

Vice President James Wani Igga told the crowd that South Sudan has rejected calls made at peace talks in Addis Ababa for Kiir to step down and the government to be dissolved, and for South Sudan to come under U.N. protection.

“This is just nonsense that we rejected," he said.

"The other suggestion was even worse, which is to consider South Sudan as a U.N. protectorate. They want us to become a U.N. colony.... If they want to force us to be colonized again, I swear to God even an old man like me will return to the bush as a rebel,” he said.

Some of demonstrators carried signs accusing the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) of arming anti-government forces.
A protester at a rally in Juba on March 10, 2014, holds up a sign against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson.A protester at a rally in Juba on March 10, 2014, holds up a sign against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson.
A protester at a rally in Juba on March 10, 2014, holds up a sign against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson.
A protester at a rally in Juba on March 10, 2014, holds up a sign against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson.

The accusations came after South Sudanese officials last week intercepted a U.N. convoy carrying weapons by road from Juba to Bentiu, in violation of a U.N. rule that stipulates arms should be transported by air only in the country for security reasons.

The weapons were in a shipment of "general goods" in which "several containers were wrongly labeled and inadvertently contained weapons and ammunition. This is regrettable," UNMISS said in a statement, apologizing for the mistake.

At another rally In Wau, in Western Bahr el Ghazal, economics student Mawien Ayom led demonstrators as they marched from the university to the U.N. compound to hand over a letter protesting the U.N. presence in South Sudan.

Awien accused UNMISS of helping to plan the events of Dec. 15 in Juba, which triggered months of violence in South Sudan, and of pushing Kiir's former deputy and now arch-rival Riek Machar to rise up against him.

"There is no doubt that UNMISS has changed from its mandate as a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan to a war-and-worse instigating mission in South Sudan,” he said.

UN Sector Coordinator Winny Babahuga accepted the letter on behalf of UNMISS and told the crowd that their memorandum would be sent to U.N. headquarters in New York, where it would be seen by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

A spokesman for Ban, Stephane Dujarric, said late Monday a delegation from U.N. headquarters will travel to South Sudan this week to join government and UNMISS officials in Rumbek, where the weapons were discovered, to conduct a probe into the "circumstances behind this incident."

"In the meantime, the Mission says that it is important to wait for the facts to come out and respect all provisions of the Status of Forces Agreement signed between the UN and the Government of South Sudan," Dujarric said.

Michael Atit contributed to this story from Wau, Margaret Besheer contributed from New York

You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: mambo from: juba
March 14, 2014 3:15 PM
South sudan is not a failed state to be controlled by un they are attracted with our resourses and claiming to control us

by: Malcolm Hume
March 12, 2014 4:40 AM
If it wasn't for the UN, the S. Sudanese would be roasting on the end of a stick.

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs