Nikki Haley Evacuated From South Sudan Camp As Protests Turn Violent

Nikki Haley Evacuated From South Sudan Camp As Protests Turn Violent

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was whisked from a U.N. camp in South Sudan by armed guards on Wednesday after protests against Sudanese President Salva Kiir turned violent, witnesses said.

Just moments after her guards evacuated Haley from the camp, U.N. security personnel fired tear gas to disperse the mob of more than 100 people who had begun to loot and pillage the office of a charity that had established operations in the area, one aid worker at the camp told the press.

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At the time of the incident, Haley was in the middle of a three-country African visit and had met with President Kiir earlier that morning to discuss South Sudan’s ongoing civil war. The country, some might recall, was cut out of the nation of Sudan in 2011, and plunged into a vicious domestic struggle just two years later. Since then the country has been struggling with issues of mass displacement, starvation, allegations of government corruption and war crimes. More than 2 million people have fled the country, and much more have been herded into refugee camps like the one Haley was visiting when the protests began.

Millions of South Sudanese are crowded in cramped refugee camps like this one (PC: Flickr).

As things are today, the United States is South Sudan’s biggest supporter, providing the government with more than a billion dollars each year, and was a key partner in helping the country to achieve its independence. Sudanese President Kiir said in the meeting that he was hopeful for the Trump administration to continue the US commitment to South Sudan and to keep aid flowing into the war-torn nation, but Haley seems to think differently.

Nikki Haley
The flag of South Sudan. PC: Wikimedia Commons.

“We are disappointed by what we are seeing. This is not what we thought we were investing in,” Haley said in a statement to the U.N.’s news center. “What we thought we were investing in was a free, fair society where people could be safe and South Sudan is the opposite of that.”

The US ambassador to the United Nations has since moved on with her African tour, and is already in the Congo, meeting with government officials there.

What do you think of the situation in South Sudan? Let us know your thoughts below!