South Sudan Minister Says UN Patrols Frightening Juba Residents

South Sudanese Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said patrols in the capital by United Nations peacekeepers are “frightening” residents and that their movements should be restricted.

“These random and uncalled for movement of forces in the streets of Juba in the name of reconnaissance and patrols, in the eyes of the citizens amount to harassment and intimidation,” Lueth said at a ceremony in the city on Friday. Patrolling should happen “only when necessary,” he said.

South Sudan plunged into civil war in December 2013 when political wrangling turned violent, sparking clashes that have left tens of thousands of people dead and driven at least 2 million others from their homes. In the wake of the violence, the UN Security Council authorized increasing the UN force in South Sudan to 12,500 troops and 1,323 police officers.

The UN mission is carrying out its mandate of protecting civilians, monitoring human rights and providing humanitarian assistance, UN Special Envoy to South Sudan Ellen Margrethe Loj said on Friday.

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