March 12, 2014 (JUBA) – Wau university students in South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal on Wednesday gave United Nations mission officials a 72-hour ultimatum to vacate the region or risk facing a demonstration in protest against their presence.
- Bahr el Ghazal students protesting at the UN main Gate in Wau, March 12, 2014 (ST)
The order was communicated in a students’ petition to the state Governor, Rizik Zechariah, which was handed over to his deputy, Zachariah Garang.
Winnie Babihuga, the world body’s representative in Western Bahr el Ghazal state welcomed the student’s petition and promised to forward it to its headquarters in New York.
“The UNMISS did not change its mandate in South Sudan. We are working hand in hand with South Sudan government in restoring peace and stability,” she told thousands of protesters at the UN main gate.
Several demonstrations have, in recent days, taken place in various parts of the new nation following last week’s seizure of ammunitions from UN trucks in Lakes state. The vehicles were destined for neighbouring state.
Most of the demonstrators chanted slogans and held placards demanding the immediate resignation of Hilde Johnson, the head of the UN mission in the new nation.
Mawien Ayom, who led the protest, wondered “whether the UN signed any deal with the government of south Sudan to bring in the country landmines or anti-aircraft”.
“We have come out today as the citizens of South Sudan and students of University of Bahr el Ghazal to demonstrate against the champion act of the UN in supporting the rebels in South Sudan,” he said.
“Since we have now seen the danger of UNMISS toward our country, we are acrimoniously regretting to UNMISS and therefore, we are calling upon the government to take deed of terminating the UNMISS mandates in the south Sudan with an instantaneous effect of 72 hours,” Ayom stressed.
But while authorities claimed the weapons were allegedly meant to back rebels, the UN mission firmly stated they were destined to Unity state for its contingent of Ghanaian peacekeepers.