South Sudan

PHOTOS: Protests in Juba Over AU Military Deployment

By Julius Gale –  in Juba


Thousands Wednesday marched in the streets of Juba in what appears a government-sponsored demonstration against a proposal by the African Union (AU) for the deployment of an additional peace keeping and stabilisation force in South Sudan.

“I’m here to peacefully protest that I do not want any foreign forces in our country because we have our forces, page ” said Phillip Bakhita, capsule 32.

“There are experiences that these foreign forces failed in some countries like Somalia and Libya.  Each country has its own problems and they know how to solve them,” he told ChimpReports in Juba.

The demonstration comes just a day after President Salva Kiir rallied supporters to pour on the streets to oppose the proposed African Union force to stabilise the country.

Protesters walked from the John Garang Mausoleum to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Compound where their leaders handed a petition to the international body, protesting against the planned deployment of the AU Joint Force.

“We are not accepting the intervention of the foreign force in our country. We are very serious as the youth to reject the deployment of more foreign troops in South Sudan. Our forces can solve the south Sudan problems,” said protester Santo Biar.

The demonstrators also want United Nations to leave Juba
The demonstrators also want United Nations to leave Juba

The decision to deploy more troops to the war-ravaged country came days after recent fighting between rival forces of Kiir and Riek Machar in Juba left at least 300 people dead, putting the country’s peace pact signed in August 2015 in the balance.

According to the AU plan, forces drawn from Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda are to join the UNMISS peace keeping contingent of 12,000-strong UN blue helmets.

Kiir had said, “Not even a single soldier will be allowed here.” He said South Sudan has enough UN troops to secure peace.

Protesters said the conflict in South Sudan is political and should therefore be solved politically.

“As a South Sudan citizen, I don’t see why the AU and UN consider military intervention as a solution to our problem. I regard this as an inversion and abuse of our sovereignty. They should have given us a chance to talk,” said a protester who declined to give his name.

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