Source: Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan
November 25, 2019 (BENTIU) – Two people died and eight United Nations personnel, including five policemen, were injured when clashes erupted between intoxicated youth at a UN protection of civilian site in Bentiu on Thursday last week.
- A view of the Protection of Civilians (POC) site near Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan (Photo UN/JC McIlwaine)
When UN police officers intervened to stop the violence and protect others, youths reportedly turned on the officers, pelted them with stones and hit them with sticks.
“Youth also tried to seize weapons from the peacekeepers and vandalized two guard-posts. Two warning shots were fired into the air to disperse the rioters,” the UN said Monday.
“UNMISS is carrying out an investigation into the rioting, including the death of the two young men involved. Community leaders are assisting with this process,” it added.
The incident has been condemned by community and political leaders in the area.
On Monday, community leaders apologized for actions taken by the youth within the UN protection of civilians' site.
A delegation from the Sudan People's Liberation Army-In Opposition met with community leaders at the protection site and urged the youth to refrain from violence against other displaced people and UN personnel within the area. They also vowed to back efforts to hold the perpetrators accountable.
The UN protection of civilian sites were established in December 2013 to provide sanctuary to civilians fleeing violence when a civil war erupted. As of 7 November, a total of 190,455 civilians were sheltering at various PoC sites on UNMISS bases, with 117,767 in Bentiu alone, the largest population compared to other regions in the country by far, figures from the world body indicate.
South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter dismissed.
In September last year, the country's rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.