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“Coming here means we want to show the world that there is no president who is elected democratically that can be withdrawn just like that," Samuel told VOA.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

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs