Haley Safe After Violent Protests Required Evacuation From South Sudan Refugee Camp

Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley
Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley / Getty Images

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is safe after she had to be evacuated from a refugee camp in South Sudan on Wednesday.

The evacuation occurred because a protest against South Sudan President Salva Kiir started to turn violent. Haley was allowed to continue on with her trip and went to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to CBS News.

A contributing factor to the demonstrations was the fact that Haley was not able to meet with the camp's residents. The meeting didn't happen as a result of time constraints, but before Haley left, she received a petition from many residents who wanted the ambassador to hear their concerns on the "current crisis."

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"People are not happy," said one resident of the UN camp, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of his safety.

UN security guards fired tear gas into the crowd after Haley's departure, according to an aid worker at the camp. The approximately 100 protesters also looted and destroyed a charity's office at the camp.

Haley has been taking part of a three-country tour in Africa and had met with Kiir before her visit to the refugee camp. Haley told the South Sudanese president the United States does not trust his government. Following her evacuation, the UN ambassador more openly expressed her disappointment.

"We are disappointed by what we are seeing. This is not what we thought we were investing in," Haley said in remarks released by the UN. "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."

South Sudan is in the midst of civil war and has suffered gravely from starvation and other atrocities. In September, the U.S. Treasury Department placed targeted sanctions on South Sudanese officials and companies, saying the targets personally profited from a climate of corruption at the expense of many of the country's residents.