17th October 2019
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NSS ‘threatens’ 80-year-old leader ‘with death’

Author: Ayuen Panchol | Published: 2 weeks ago

Joseph Ukel [left] in a past function | Credit | BRAC

A veteran politician and signatory to the revitalized peace agreement says the National Security Service is threatening him with death should he set foot in his home state.

Joseph Ukel represents the United Sudan African Party or USAP in the new peace agreement.

On August 14, he was arrested by NSS officers in Wau over what was not clear by then.

Now, he says he stands accused by the Wau State Governor, Angelo Taban, of “supplying the Luo rebel forces with military logistics to fight the Dinka” – an allegation he rejects and demands pieces of evidence if there are any.

The following day, he was airlifted to Juba where an investigation team headed up by the NSS Chief Akol Koor interrogated him at the Blue House and later asked to go home, but he “was still under detention until I get the official [release] from the President”.

In a petition to President Salva Kiir, Ukel says the Blue House has restricted his movements.

The 80-year-old, who has held various leadership positions, including national minister of general education, had just returned to Wau to witness construction of his secondary school when he was picked up by the security.

He has been outspoken in his condemnation of violence against inhabitants of his home state.

This is particularly the recent ethnic attacks on residents of Kwajina where 15 people were allegedly killed and others displaced by cattle keepers from the neighboring Tonj State, where Akol comes from.

“I’m threatened with death if I go to my village or any other village in Wau State,” he writes in the petition letter seen by Eye Radio.

His detention, he says, has cost him a family member – his brother- who collapsed after learning that he had been taken by the NSS.

“Bol Abango collapsed and died when he heard I was detained by the government we have been fighting for,” Ukel laments.

“My detention has deprived me of completing preparations for opening the Ukel Abango Secondary School, which I have been working on to open during the coming academic year, 2020/2021.”

He appealed to President Kiir to look into his case:

“I would like to point out that the objective of this petition is for the President to intervene whether my detention is still holding or not.”

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