Youth in NBG call for UNISFA to leave the area

Youth carry posters during the protest in NBG calling for UNISFA to leave the area. Photo by Joseph Ngor

Youth stages peaceful protest on Wednesday in Gok Machar, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state calling for the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) to leave the area.

UNISFA started operating in Gok Machar in 2012 after South Sudan and Sudan agreed on a 14-mile buffer zone. The aim was to keep calm at the disputed border of two sisterly states.

Mile 14 is a grazing land between Northern Bahr El-Ghazal State and East Darfur State in Sudan.

Youth representatives talked to Akol Yam 91.0 said they submitted their petition to UNISFA and the county authority.

The protesters accused the UN of encroaching described UNISFA as for Abyei.

“We want the UNISFA to leave Gok Machar area because the names even mean UNISFA is not for NBGs, we have realized that some of our land are written in the GPS as Sudan, and our land is being encroached by the Sudanese, and it doesn’t say anything.”

“We can’t wait for the Government, the land is ours, and we are the community, so we have to resolve the issue, and the Government will find us in later. We don’t want UNISFA. It is the one giving out our land to Sudan.”

“We have raised this concern since, but no one has taken it seriously, the UNISFA and Government, so we had to raise our concerns in this peaceful demonstration, UNISFA is not mandated to be in Gok Machar.”

UNISFA declined to comment on the matter.

Aweil North County Commissioner Victorino Ken Akoon said the youth petition would be discussed at the top leadership.

“We have received the petition, and the UNISFA has been given three days to leave the area, so we shall intervene as the Government. I will take this issue to my boss, the Governor.”

The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei has established bases in Aweil North and Aweil East Counties, Northern Bahr El Gazal.

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