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Juba city council vows to disrupt any public protest

Juba city council vows to disrupt any public protest
Michael Ladu Allah Jabu, Mayor of Juba City Council addresses the media on August 9, 2022

The Juba City Council has warned the public against any form of protest.

It threatened to arrest individuals or groups conducting demonstrations within the municipality.

According to the Mayor, grievances should be relayed through members of parliament and not on the streets of Juba.

Michael Ladu Allah Jabu warning follows this weekend’s arrest of some protestors in Konyo-konyo market.

“Joint security organs have been deployed in all the markets to maintain security, peace and order in the city of Juba,” he said.

On Sunday, a small group of young people took to the streets to protest against unemployment, the skyrocketing commodity prices and cost of living in the country.

They carried manila paper placards with demands written on them – such as; “We cannot afford bread now! “Save our lives from hyperinflation.”

Security forces roundup the protestors, including a female journalist who was covering the event for the Voice of America.

“Some of them were arrested and one sustained injuries. The arrested suspects are kept under preliminary investigation in the concerned police station to know the facts about their motives. They are safe and secured,” Mayor Allah Jabu said.

He cautioned the public against protests.

“The authorities of Juba city council warns the citizens of Juba to abstain from conducting any sort of unfounded protest in any market in Juba. It’s not permissible,” he announced.

Allah Jabu’s statement contravenes aspects of the South Sudan constitution which permits freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

The Bill of Rights also states that every citizen shall have the right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press.

But the Mayor insists that public grievances can directed towards members of parliament.

“If there is any issue of concern, let it be communicated and expressed by the state and national assemblies as being the representatives of people who always raises concerns about the public. Any peaceful protest shall be coordinated and approve by the concerned and relevant authorities otherwise, you will face legal charges,” he maintained.

Activists have called for the unconditional release of the protestors, including journalist Diing Magot.

The argue that the constitution states “no person shall be subjected to arrest, detention, deprivation or restriction of his or her liberty.”