The political thinktank group PCCA earlier this month issued a call for mass protests on 30th of August following a heightened discontent in the ruling party deepening, PCCA and some citizens have called for a peaceful public uprising to topple the current regime, with a nationwide protest planned for Monday 30th August.
South Sudan’s Security forces have for the last 3 days patrolled the capital Juba ahead of the anticipated protest slated for today, Monday and many shops have been shut down as the authorities warned of a tough crackdown against anyone planning to join a planned protest against the government earlier today.
The country has suffered from a systemic political instability since it gained independence in 2011. The growing discontent in the government by the population however has prompted PCCA, a coalition of civil society groups to put the country’s leadership to a litmus test urging the current leadership step down.
The demonstration was set to take place the same day that President Salva Kiir the country’s overall leadership is expected to inaugurate a newly created national parliament, a key condition of a 2018 peace deal that ended South Sudan’s brutal civil war that killed nearly 400,000 people.
Security forces have been heavily deployed to beef the expected protest. The government has taken a hard line against the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) and its calls for a peaceful public uprising, arresting at least eight activists and detaining three journalists this month in connection with the demonstrations, according to rights groups.
The key leaders and organizers of the protest have urged the public to come out in force, the mood in Juba on Monday was decidedly subdued, with residents city dwellers reluctant about leaving home expecting the protests and confrontations with the security agencies to turn bloody.
National security officers had a busy day with militarized mounted vehicles patrolling the entire Juba City in an effort to challenge any move by protesters.
Government is in full control of the city with great surveillance and intelligence authorities evidently present in the juba and surrounding areas. The authorities have branded the protest as “illegal” and warned of strict measures against anyone who defies the ban.
Information Minister Michael Makuei said the government is in full , he assured the country about their safety especially for those who want to carryon business in the city area and surrounding areas to stay calm. He further dismissed reports of an internet shutdown, after users reported problems with accessing two of the country’s main networks, Zain and MTN, saying any issues were due to technical troubles.
Following Mondays developing events, the US embassy in Juba has asked its citizens to avoid the areas where protesters may assemble, urging them to “exercise caution”.
The political think-tank group PCCA, also a broad-based coalition of activists, academics, lawyers, and former government officials has described the current regime as a bankrupt political system that has become so dangerous and has subjected our people to immense suffering.
The Revitalized peace agreement of 2018 and power-sharing deal between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar still largely holds but it is being bitterly tested, as politicians bicker over power and promises for peace are met by defections and confusion in several political camps.
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