‘Political repression endanger the nation,’ an analyst says.
The country’s recent arbitrary arrests and disappearances of government opponents, according to Jok Madut Jok, co-founder and former head of the Sudd Institute in Juba, has placed the country on a dangerous trajectory, endangering peace efforts.
After signing a statement calling for civil action to demand political change, the South Sudanese National Security Service (NSS) arrested Kuel Aguer Kuel, the former governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, and others last week.
Abraham Awolich, director of the Sudd Institute, signed the eleven-page document on behalf of South Sudanese academia, Rajab Muhandis, on behalf of civil society organizations, Kuel Aguer Kuel, on behalf of South Sudanese intellectuals, and Edward Andrew Achiek, on behalf of the South Sudanese Diaspora. Fearing arrest, the remaining signatories have left the country.
According to Madut, a harsh government critic, the weekend arrests in Juba’s capital violate the constitution’s protection of individual and collective freedom of expression.
He warned that incarcerating and arresting people for extended periods may cause civil unrest.
“It will require international pressure and effort to persuade the parties to the fresh peace agreement to collaborate on delivering basic services to the people,” Madut said.
The Sudd Institute remains closed, according to Madut, and its members now live in fear of being imprisoned.
The People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) encouraged South Sudanese to gather and “make their voices heard” on July 30, warning that the country would revert to bloodshed unless anything changes.