You are on your own, Interior Ministry tells protestors as the minister rejects PCCA call for protection, says it’s illegal.
The People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) has asked South Sudan’s ministry of interior to safeguard protestors during a nationwide anti-government rally scheduled for August 30, according to police spokesperson Major-General Daniel Justin.
After ten tumultuous and sometimes violent years of independence, the civil rights advocacy organization founded in early August has started a public campaign demanding political reform.
Kuel Aguer Kuel, former governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, was detained by the National Security Service (NSS) in Juba for signing the campaign’s statement, while the rest are on the run.
Last week, the PCCA warned Paul Mayom Akec, the minister of interior, that South Sudanese will go to the streets later this month to demand the termination of President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s administration, asking the minister to give the security needed under the country’s interim constitution.
However, General Justin said that the request was denied by police officials, who warned the public not to participate in the protest, saying that the group had not been recognized as an entity by the government, making it unlawful.
“The request was worded in a very hazardous way. The danger is quite high since they are asking for national demonstrations,” said Major-General Daniel Justin, according to a report seen in almost all the Juba-based media outlet’s websites.
“We strongly urge them [demonstrators] not to do so. If they wish to exercise their right to free speech, they must collaborate with us as organized forces to guarantee the safety of their demonstration,” he said.
General Justin further stated that in their letter to the Ministry of Interior, the organization did not promise that their demonstrations would not become violent and that the government also wants the protestors to reveal how many people are taking part in the protest.
“It’s a pastime for us to get down and sort things out. “You can’t call a protest for an unknown number of people because we need to know the precise number of demonstrators,” he said.