“We have no tear gas but rather live bullets” – South Sudan gov’t warns Ugandans living in the country against protest.
Lt. Gen. Atem Marol Biar, South Sudan’s Director General of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passport, and Immigration, has cautioned Ugandan nationals living in South Sudan not to protest, claiming that the government does not have tear gas but rather live bullets to disperse protestors.
A group of Ugandans protested outside Uganda’s Embassy in Juba in August 2021, against the rise in visa costs and the detention of their countrymen.
They marched to Uganda’s embassy in Juba and petitioned their ambassador over what they said were high visa costs charged by South Sudan immigration authorities.
The protest erupted when 65 Ugandans were detained in Juba for lack of legal visas.
The arrests happened after the administration decided that all foreign people entering the country must have legal documentation.
Gen. Atem said that the rally is illegal in South Sudan at a meeting with Immigration and the Ugandan community in Juba.
“One thing I don’t like about you Ugandans, and if you want to remain with us, you stop doing one thing, and that is demonstrating; don’t protest here,” Atem stated on Thursday.
“I stated South Sudan is still the youngest country, and you may agree with me, we don’t have tear gasses, we still have what came with us from the jungle.”
According to Atem, South Sudan has not purchased tear gas to disperse protesters.
“For us to dispense you, it is a life bullet, and we don’t want to do that, and we don’t want to demonstrate again, whether in your embassy or Konyo Konyo market,” he said.
“Don’t demonstrate if you want to be South Sudanese; what you do in Uganda, don’t bring it here,” he warned. Demonstrations are relatively straightforward in Uganda, but we do not allow them here.”