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“Coming here means we want to show the world that there is no president who is elected democratically that can be withdrawn just like that," Samuel told VOA.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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid