South Sudan tightens security, closed stores as precaution against protests

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On Monday, security troops patrolled Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and many shops were closed as authorities warned of a harsh crackdown on anyone preparing to participate in a planned protest against the government.

Since its independence in 2011, the world’s newest nation has been plagued by chronic instability, causing a coalition of civil society organizations to call on the country’s leadership to resign, claiming they had “had enough.”

The protest was scheduled for the same day as President Salva Kiir’s inauguration of a newly formed national parliament, which was a fundamental condition of a 2018 peace agreement that ended South Sudan’s terrible civil war, which killed almost 400,000 people.

According to rights groups, the government has taken a harsh position against the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) and its calls for a peaceful public revolt, arresting at least eight activists and detaining three journalists in connection with the protests this month.

The tone in Juba on Monday was noticeably subdued, with people telling AFP they were afraid to leave their homes, despite the protest organizers’ calls for a large turnout.

“We’ve heard there’s no work today, and we’re afraid of (what the day will bring),” Emelda Susu, a food hawker, told AFP.

According to rights groups, the government has taken a harsh position against the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) and its calls for a peaceful public revolt, arresting at least eight activists and detaining three journalists in connection with the protests this month.

The tone in Juba on Monday was noticeably subdued, with people telling AFP they were afraid to leave their homes, despite the protest organizers’ calls for a large turnout.

“We’ve heard there’s no work today, and we’re afraid of (what the day will bring),” Emelda Susu, a food hawker, added.

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