South Sudanese State Freezes UN Operations in Capital

By Okech Francis

South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria has stopped for a week, the operations of all United Nations and other agencies’ operations in the State capital, Torit, after aggression from disgruntled youths.

The youths, the Monyomiji, a Lotuko word for “the ruling youths” are displeased with the agencies for allegedly employing foreigners from regional countries and providing them with South Sudanese documentations.

According to Aliandro Lotok, the Press Secretary of the Governor of Eastern Equatoria, all agencies operating in Torit will cease operation for 7 days giving room for investigations.

“If we allow the agencies to continue, it will anger the youths,” Lotok told Juba Echo by phone on June 3.

Among UN agencies affected by the decision include the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program, Lotok said.

Eastern Equatoria State in general has about 54 Nongovernmental organizations working with the people.

According to Labor laws of South Sudan, NGOs must employee 80 percent of its workforce from the country.

This week, a driver for the Red Cross and another staff from United Nations Development Program were assaulted by the Monyomiji.

“We do not want to get into a more volatile situation that will endanger the lives of the aid workers,” Lotok said.

“There is a committee formed by the governor to see if the complain of the youths is genuine,” he said.

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