South Sudan Cracksdown on Planned Anti-Government Protests

Security agencies in South Sudan have arrested several people ahead of the People’s Coalition for Civil Action’s (PCCA) planned anti-government protests, human rights groups in the country have alleged.

The rights group claimed that among those arrested was a bishop in Yei township and three senior journalists of Jonglei FM, an independent radio station in the eastern Jonglei State. The road station was also shut down.

The PCCA had called for tomorrow’s protests after launching a public campaign for change in July, saying the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity led by President Salva Kiir is doing very little to address the many challenges facing the people of South Sudan.

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The coalition is also calling for President Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar to step down.

But South Sudan authorities have reacted by banning Monday’s protests. Police Spokesperson, Major General Daniel Justin, said the planned protests will “cause public disorder” and will not be tolerated by authorities.

“You have to coordinate with the police to give you protection. And these people, we invite them to come such that we sit and arrange, so it will not be allowed,” Justin said.

South Sudan has witnessed armed conflict, escalating insecurity, hunger, civil war and political instability since attaining independence from Sudan some 10 years ago.

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Kiir and Machar’s 2018 ceasefire and power-sharing agreement was just the latest accord between the two men whose rivalry ignited a brutal civil war that claimed almost 400,000 lives.

Though their truce is still largely intact, it is being seriously tested as politicians argue over power and peace pledges go unfulfilled.

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