South Sudan army shoots dead 10 protesters: UN

December 10, 2012 - 1:42:15 am

JUBA: South Sudan’s army shot dead 10 people protesting against the relocation of a local council headquarters in the country’s northwest over the weekend, the United Nations said yesterday. Human rights groups regularly accuse South Sudan’s army, a collection of poorly trained former guerrilla fighters and militiamen, of human rights abuses.

The violence began after the army was deployed around Wau, the capital of the country’s Western Bahr el Ghazal state, to dismantle road blocks set up by civilians protesting against the relocation of the municipal council headquarters, Liam McDowall, spokesman for the U.N. mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said.

The army opened fire when a large group of women and activists attempted to march to the governor’s office to present a petition on Sunday, he said. It was not immediately clear what their specific grievance was. 

“Reports we have are that the (army) fired at the crowd to disperse them and four people were killed,” McDowall said, adding the UN also had reports on Saturday the army had killed six other people. The army and police declined comment.