28th February 2020
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IDPs in Juba Complain of harassment by soldiers

Author: Peter Gatkuoth | Published: 9 months ago

UNMISS Protection of Civilian site for the IDPs in Juba, South Sudan - File Photo

IDPs sheltering at the POC in Juba say they are harassed by members of the organized forces as they get in and out of the camp. 

According to UNMISS, there are over 31,500 displaced persons at the UN House POC 1 and 3.

These are people who fled the conflict in 2013 and 2016.

With the signing of the revitalized peace agreement and the subsequent relative calm in the country, some of the IPDs leave the camp in the morning and return in the evening.

Though the UN is supporting their livelihoods, women go to markets in Juba to buy vegetables to supplement their UN-provided diet.

Some youth work for humanitarian groups; while others are high school and university students, thus, they leave the camp in the morning and return later on.

However, they say government soldiers manning the checkpoint adjacent to the camp interrogate them over their valuables.

They were describing their ordeals to Eye Radio.

“When you have money, they want to tax you and ask where the receipt of the money is. Your money has no receipt its just your money period. So we are requesting the government to talk to the soldiers harassing us. We are citizens of this country, they can’t keep asking us for such kind of things daily.”

Another IDP said that sometimes the soldiers forcefully take away their money saying it is too much money to carry in the PoC site.

“Usually hen you have about 50,000 South Sudanese pounds they say you can’t carry this kind of money like this with you, so they take some of it. I am not saying it is all soldiers but there are those who are particularly at the checkpoint.”

In response, the army headquarters says it is not aware of the alleged intimidation and harassment of the internally displaced people at the Checkpoint.

Speaking to Eye Radio this morning, the SSPDF spokesperson, Major-General Lul Ruai Koang, said the army will investigate the allegations.

“No I am not aware. But now you have brought this to my attention and to relevant authorities. You know we have divided Juba to sectors, and there is sector command in charge of every area which is just next to the place you have just mentioned, will bring it to his attention to look into it.”

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