Protestor in Bor town market carrying a banner June 17, 2024. (Credit |Majok Guet)

Bor residents protest high cost of living

Dozens of residents of the Jonglei State’s capital Bor took to the streets on Monday, demanding action against the rising cost of living.

The peaceful protest, a sea of determined faces, was a call to the government to take immediate action to address the economic crisis that has left many struggling to make ends meet.

Amidst chants and placards, the protesters voiced their grievances, from the delayed civil servants’ salaries, to the overtaxed small businesses.

The protesters, some choosing to remain unnamed due to fears of reprisal, told Radio Tamazuj that the delay in the civil servants’ salaries as exacerbating their hardships.

“Our families are suffering, and our patience has worn thin,” one protester said.

The sentiments were echoed by another who declared: “It is our right to use peaceful means to demand change.”

A petition addressed to President Salva Kiir, delivered through the Jonglei Governor Majoub Biel Turuk, implored for immediate intervention. The letter said in part: “We are suffering and starving… we can no longer afford food, medication, or school fees.”

The economic pinch has also hit the local industries hard. Salted fish traders have found themselves at a standstill, their goods blocked in Uganda, unable to reach the Congolese markets.

Bol Deng Bol of the INTREPID South Sudan (ISS) told Radio Tamazuj that the high cost of living was not just a local issue, but affected all South Sudanese.

“It is not a secret that less is being done to improve people’s living standards. Because of this inaction, our people are indeed suffering and starving,” Bol stated, urging the unity government to tackle issues like insecurity and corruption and to improve the public salaries and business conditions.

The protesters vowed to continue their peaceful demonstrations until their demands are met.