Thousands In Western Lakes State Protest Against Additional Troops In South Sudan

Thousands of people on Thursday took to the streets in Western Lakes State rejecting the addition of foreign troops in South Sudan.

Thousands In Western Lakes State Protest Against Additional Troops In South Sudan
Western Lakes State protest against having additional foreign troops South Sudan [Photo| Mabor Riak]

By Mabor Riak Magok

RUMBEK, 21 July 2016 [Gurtong]- The SPLM Secretary General in Western Lakes State, Mabor Ater Dhuol who was among those protesting said that South Sudan will not accept the proposal to send additional foreign troops.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have all agreed to send additional troops to Juba to restore peace.

The troops are expected to be given a stronger mandate including to use force against any party that will be initiating violence, threatening civilians or obstructing the implementation of the peace agreement.

Mabor Ater Dhuol said, “We are dismayed and appalled by the recent proposal of foreign troops deployment in the republic of South Sudan by the regional bloc; the African Union.”

“Residents of Western Lakes State converged today in Rumbek State capital and resolved to present our strongest protest against such an aggressive proposal which is tantamount to foreign invasion hence we the people of this State defiantly reject and seriously condemn the proposed intervention of deploying foreign troops in Juba or any part of the country.”

He said, consequently it will exacerbate and prolong the political tension among the citizens of the country.

He noted that foreign troops will polarize the nation along ethnic lines setting unprecedented dangerous ethnic divisions that may have lasting instability and destroy the foundation of the nation.

“We strongly and unreservedly support the ceasefire and general amnesty and uphold the bold and wise decision of his excellency the President of the republic of South Sudan and commander in chief of the SPLA and supreme commander of other forces by declaring a ceasefire and subsequent order of issuing a general amnesty to all those soldiers that were involved in the Juba violence,” he said.

The SPLM Secretary, Mabor Ater Dhuol said that the protection of civilians and security of the whole country and in particularly Juba should be the sole responsibility of the national government.
He finally urged the African Union (AU) to revoke its proposal.

The chairperson of the civil society organization network in Lakes State, John Malith Rual said that the UN and IGAD must respect the agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan.

“We would like to bring to the notice of UN and the regional body (IGAD) that the quest for peace in this period, respecting the agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan and subsequent establishment of transitional government of national unity will give confidence to the people and political groups as well as promoting national unity.”

He emphasized that “the frame work of peace agreement provides the basis which can return this country to peace and we would support the amnesty call to all the armed groups in South Sudan, declaration of ceasefire by the two leaders, the president and the first vice president after the Juba incident two weeks ago and the position of the two parties of rejecting the foreign troops intervention in the country.”

Malith Rual said the civil society however, commends the efforts of the international community and the regional body (IGAD) to continue supporting the implementation of the peace agreement and provide humanitarian services and assistance to the victims of the recent incident.

UNMISS Human rights officer, Kwame Dwamena –Aboagye received the petition from the demonstrators and thanked them for organizing a peaceful demonstration, saying demonstration is part of manifestation in every democratic country to allow for the people’s voices to be heard.


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