At least four South Sudanese nationals have been killed during the ongoing protests in Sudan, according to South Sudan’s embassy in Khartoum.
In an exclusive interview with VOA’s South Sudan in Focus, South Sudan Ambassador to Khartoum Mayam Dut Wol said two men and two women were killed when Sudanese security forces opened fired on anti-government demonstrators in the Sudanese capital.
Dut said the embassy’s verification committee, which was set up to monitor the wellbeing of South Sudanese in Sudan, reported that the four slain South Sudanese were observing ongoing protests, but not participating in them.
“Very unfortunate we have [lost] four people in this demonstration,” Dut told VOA. “They were not participating but due to this sometimes the bullet can just cross and then go and hit you somewhere. This is what we have now in this crisis that has taken place in Sudan.”
Dut urged South Sudanese nationals not to take sides in the ongoing protests in Sudan. He said the embassy’s verification committee is also keeping tabs on South Sudanese refugees living in Sudan.
“This committee is to move to see where our people are, because here particularly in Khartoum state, we have about 30 [refugee’s] camps; where our people are living. This committee, they are responsible to make coordination with leadership of each camp so that to give them the full report what is the situation in all these camps,” Dut said.
South Sudanese national Luka Lawrence Ndenge, who resides in Haj Yousif of the Eastern Nile section of Khartoum, said he worries about his family’s safety. Ndenge called on the South Sudan embassy to provide security for South Sudanese in Sudan if the situation continuous to worsen.
“Disorder in any place, people will have to worry about it. This is something naturally. Even myself I am worried about the situation because I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow or next tomorrow. And from time to time things are not going well,” Ndenge told South Sudan in Focus.
Ndenge urged fellow South Sudanese not to move about in Khartoum or other cities where protests are taking place unless absolutely necessary, and to avoid crowds in Sudan.
Dut said the unrest requires a collective effort from Sudanese leaders to find a peaceful way to resolve the crisis.
“When there is no strong central power or government in the center that is providing security and protecting the citizens, I am quite sure there will be anarchy and crises in the country. So I am now cautioning and begging our Sudanese brothers, whether in opposition [or] government to sit down and solve their problem in a peaceful manner that will not let the county to lose its control,” Dut told VOA.
Amnesty International reported at least 37 people have been killed by Sudanese authorities during two weeks of protests. The government says the death toll is much lower.
Carol Van Dam Falk contributed to this report.