Three people injured as the police clashes with civil servants during a protest in Bor
AUTHOR: Anyar Kuol | PUBLISHED: February 9, 2022
Civil Servants in Jonglei State during protest in Bor.
At least three people have been injured in Bor Jonglei state after civil servant protesters clashed with security forces in a renewed protest demanding the reinstatement of salary allowances.
Last week the governor of Jonglei issued an order canceling payment of allowances and redirecting money to address security issues in the state. The decision has angered government employees and went back on the street to demand the inclusion of allowance with their salary.
A health worker in Bor hospital says three people were injured on Wednesday morning and are being treated in the state public health facility.
Ajah Makhor, a nurse working at the surgical ward in Bor, says one person is critical. The other two are responding to treatment. “I am nursing three people with wounds now. They sustain major wounds in the arms, but one person was hit in the chest and is critically injured”.
A local civil society activist said police had beaten peaceful protesters, which worsened the situation, a claim denied by the government. Bol Deng Bol is the chairperson of Jonglei state Civil Society Network. He urges the government to address the matter amicably and respect the rights of civil servants.
“It is the right of the civil servants to complain, but the state government should not insist on denying their rights. They should call for dialogue and explain the matter”. The government workforce says they need 52 million South Sudanese pounds unpaid allowances, an equivalent of USD 120,000.
John Anyieth is one of the protesters who spoke to Mingkaman 100 FM from Bor over the phone. He says the security fired live rounds of ammunition into the air to disperse them.”We were moving peacefully toward the state secretariat to present our demand, but unfortunately, in the middle, the security forces tried to obstruct us. They started beating people with sticks”, two people were hit and collapsed in front of me, and it was so terrible. We did not retreat until they ran away.”
Hon. Veronica William Deng is the minister of information in Jonglei State. She says the security forces have no power to shoot the civilians. She denied the report of people being injured during the demonstration. “We are going to solve the problem to ensure this demonstration stop. But we will not raise our hand to beat the citizens. For the case of four people being injured is not true”, She said.
Ms. William reiterated her government commitment to pay the civil servants this week. “They will get their money tomorrow or next tomorrow because the civil servant can’t work without pay.”