Violence as South Sudan protesters denounce US arms embargo

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Anti-Donald Trump demonstrations in South Sudan’s capital have turned violent as people took to the streets to protest the US president’s new ban on the supply of weapons to the army and rebels.

On Friday, the US imposed a unilateral arms embargo on South Sudan, which is embroiled in a five-year civil war. The US state department said it is “appalled” by the continuing violence perpetrated by both sides in the conflict.

Hundreds gathered outside the US Embassy and the nearby United Nations base on Tuesday morning to show their anger.

The protesters delivered a petition to the US Embassy, citing anger over the arms embargo and accusing the US of supporting the rebels through the UN mission to South Sudan and neighbouring countries.

Although the protest began peacefully, it turned violent and the crowd harassed and physically assaulted three journalists, including a reporter for the AP, a German freelancer and a reporter for the South Sudan press. None were seriously injured.

South Sudan’s government would not comment on the embargo but condemned the violence.

A spokesman said: “The security authorities would have been there for the peaceful protest. If violence took place, it was individuals taking the law into their own hands.”

South Sudan’s civil war has killed untold tens of thousands and displaced millions. A ceasefire on December 24 was broken hours after going into effect. The latest rounds of peace talks are under way in neighbouring Ethiopia.