With the return to Juba of former rebel leader Riek Machar and the apparent re-militarisation of the capital city of the world’s newest nation, the United Nation’s Mission in the South Sudan (UNMISS) has issued its staff (both national and international) with new pre-2005-like security protocols – a guide on how to go about business in the country.
Riek Machar, former rebel chief, returned to Juba and has been sworn in as the country First Vice President in accordance with a Compromised Peace Agreement that is expected to end the over two-year old conflict in just over four-year old country.
This new 2016 UNMISS guide to UN-staff is believed to be similar to one that was in place when the 2005 peace deal was signed.
Here are some highlights of the points.
Normally, you should not worry about getting arrested, nor should we be writing this guide. But the situation in South Sudan is far from normal. Should you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you are being arrested (reasons and legitimacy are not important), please do not resist. We can release you from most detention centres within hours of your arrest, but we cannot heal your wounds or bruised ego in the event of an alteration.
Forced entry into UN compounds
Entry to UN compounds is normally gained only when certain conditions are met. However, when someone or a group of angry or aggressive people tries to force themselves, please do not stand in the way. Initiated the stress signal following the protocols that you should know well already, we shall ensure the situation is contained with as little damage as possible.
When you hear sirens, STOP! Pull over, or even better, get out of the road. If the sirens have passed, wait for 2 full minutes or count 5 normal cars have resumed using the road before you get back on the road.
Dealing with security check-points
Random checkpoints will pop up here and there, now and then. Here are some points to be to help you in the event that an SPLA soldier or any security personal stops you:
- Do not step out of the car at any given time
- Immediately oblige and step out of the car if asked to
- It is normal to get slapped once, please do not report that as an incident. If the slaps average two or more, then it can become a case for us to follow
- If asked to sit down, please do sit down. This means physically putting your behind on the ground, not an elevated stone