Troika slams NSS for cancelling a civil society panel debate on South Sudan’s constitution
The Troika (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway) voiced concern over allegations of restrictions on freedom of speech and urged the South Sudanese government to uphold the Transitional Constitution’s provision of freedom of assembly and expression.
The Troika expressed grave concern earlier today in a press release about allegations that the National Security Service forced the cancellation of a civil society panel discussion on South Sudan’s constitutional history on July 17.
“For peace to take root in South Sudan, South Sudanese must have the ability to talk freely. According to the statement, Article 6.13 of South Sudan’s renewed peace deal says, “‘The process of permanent Constitution-making must be led and controlled by the people of South Sudan.'” “As such, the constitution-making process must be transparent and inclusive, and it must include the views of South Sudanese people, whether via the official process or through exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”
“We take note of the agreement reached by transitional government parties at the May 25–28 Workshop on the Permanent Constitution-Making Process on the need of an inclusive and participatory process,” the statement said.
The Troika encouraged the administration to accelerate the peace agreement’s implementation.
“As we said in our Troika Statement on the 50th Anniversary of South Sudan’s Independence, it is essential for the government to expedite implementation of the renewed peace deal. A process of inclusive constitution-making is a key component of this accord. A constitution drafted without public participation would lack popular legitimacy,” the statement said.
Additionally, the Troika urged the government to respect and protect the rights to free speech and assembly.
“We urge the administration to uphold the Transitional Constitution’s provision of freedom of assembly and speech. We have communicated our concerns about this event to the government directly and will continue to do so,” the statement ended.