20th July 2019
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US concerned about S Sudan activists

Author : Ayuen Panchol | Published: 3 years ago

The United States says it is deeply concerned by what it calls “South Sudanese government’s increasing efforts to silence” civil society activists.

These remarks come four days after activist Emmanuel Wani was reportedly shot dead in Juba by armed men.

Mr Wani had met the UN Security Council members on the deployment of a regional protection force authorized by the UN body.

Activists, who also held discussions with the Security Council team, say they have been receiving death threat messages days after the meeting.

According to media reports, three organizations have been told to close down in weeks, or else they would be considered illegal.

“We’ve consistently expressed our longstanding concern about the intimidation of civil society representatives to senior South Sudanese officials and have demanded an end to these acts, which have included violence, intimidation, and threats to shut down civil society groups and to seize their assets,” read a statement from the US Department of State.

“As South Sudan seeks an end to the conflict, organizations must have the freedom to operate unhindered by government intimidation, and the South Sudanese people need to be free to voice their opinions in order for there to be a lasting return to peace.”

The interim Constitution of South Sudan protects the rights of freedom of expression, assembly, and association.

It urged the “Government of South Sudan to respect these rights and to allow unhindered political and civic engagement, as these are vital elements for an environment conducive to the stabilization of South Sudan”.

When contacted by Eye Radio today, the Minister of Information, Michael Makuei, denied the allegations, saying it is “propaganda”.

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