April 20, 14 (BOR) - Officials in South Sudan’s Jonglei state have cautioned youth against organising another violent protest in the capital, Bor, saying the United Nations has "accepted" their demands to have the 5,000 displaced people relocated.
- A group of demonstrators moving towards the Jonglei governors’ office on Thursday 17 April 2014 in Bor (ST)
A petition was Thursday delivered to the world body by about 300 protestors who wanted the displaced people moved out of Jonglei within 72 hours.
The peaceful protest, however, turned violent when armed members of the group broke into the UN compound firing indiscriminately before they were forced back by peacekeepers, the UN has said. More than 50 people were killed in the attack, which has been internationally condemned as constituting a war crime.
“If UN does evacuate the IDPs within 72 hours, we will do another peacefully demonstration."Ayuen Guet, a spokesperson for the demonstrators told Sudan Tribune on Saturday
He said the Thursday demonstration was peaceful, but they were mistaken by UNMISS peacekeepers who shot at them at the east gate of the base. He denied responsibility for the death of the civilians who had been sheltering in the base.
The government’s announcement that the displaced people would be relocated was communicated on Saturday morning using loudspeakers mounted on a vehicle.
The move, state officials said. was intended to prevent any further protests.
Ugandan soldiers (UPDF), who fought alongside the South Sudanese army (SPLA) against rebels who split away from the ruling party and army in December - had to be deployed near the UNMISS compound and at Bor airport after the fighting.
However, no arrests have been made since the clashes took place.
Heavily armed gunmen on Thursday stormed the UN mission compound and opened fire on nearly 5,000 internally displaced persons sheltered at its civilian protection site.
A least 20 civilians were killed and more than 70 others were injured, according to Samantha Power, the United State’s permanent representative to the world body.
More than 53 were believed to have been killed in Bor following the clashes between Bor youth and the UN peacekeepers protecting civilians in the UNMISS base on Thursday.
- A group of demonstrators moving towards the Jonglei governors’ office on Thursday 17 April 2014 in Bor, (ST)
The government says that 53 people died and 41 were injured when Bor youth stormed the UNMISS compound on Thursday. They were angered by reports that the IDPs had celebrated the news that rebels, led by former vice president Riek Machar, had retaken Bentiu, the Unity state capital.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune in Bor late evening, Peter Deng Aguer, the speaker of Jonglei legislative assembly said the attack in Bor surprised the state government.
Speaker Aguer said that "46 people were confirmed dead inside UN compound and 26 wounded. From the youth side, seven were killed and 15 others wounded."
"We sat and condemned it to the strongest term. The assembly also directed the law enforcement sector to investigate the matter an bring the culprits to book", he said.
"Our country is a member of this international community, that is why we condemned the killing as well as the armed confrontation with the UN", added the speaker.
The lawmaker wondered how a peaceful demonstration would later turn violent, but rejected claims that local politicians had somehow instigated the attack.
"We were not aware of it, that is why there was no arrest made at the time [during the attack] because there was no police or any force to arrest them", he stressed.
The world body is yet to officially release a statement on the number of casualties from the attack, which initially started as a peacefully organised demonstration.