South Sudan :Furor and Protests engulf Juba over Musician’s death

By Deng Machol

South Sudan is in shock over death of  female artist Trisha Cee
South Sudan is in shock over death of artist Trisha Cee

Juba – South Sudan Police has arrested youth activists following protests that begun Tuesday morning over the death of singer Trisha Cee and a boda-boda rider on Monday in capital Juba.

 A gruesome accident occurred in which a water tank driver recklessly ran over innocent boss – boda rider who died instantly, while Anataban member, renowned female artist Trisha Cee died from injuries later at a hospital.

She was first taken to Juba Teaching Hospital before being rushed to a private clinic to try and save her life.

At the country’s hospital, however, it took over three (3) hours to give blood despite the blood donors being adequately and timely present. 

It’s also worth noting that the blood bank was found closed when its services were needed the most. 

Negligence, recklessness, and poor health system and services continue to be one of the leading causes of avoidable deaths countrywide, according to the observers.

The family, colleagues and fans blamed her death partly on the slow services being offered at the country’s main referral hospital.

Tuesday’s morning, group of musicians, activists, mourners and youth gathered at Mobil roundabout in Juba to demand answers on how the government is going to fix the health sector, especially at the Juba Teaching hospital, to halt horrible death from road accidents

They carried placards that read: “Do not kill us”, “Juba Teaching Hospital is killing us,” among others.

Police, however, intervened by first persuading the protestors to disperse. But the protestors stood their ground.

The police then started making individual arrests by picking on those they believe to be the ring leaders.

 Over five peaceful protesters have been reportedly  arrested/detained as of this afternoon. 

The protesters said they will share their names later if they are not released today.

Among those taken to the police station are Jame Kolok, executive director of the Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance; Wani Michael, executive director of OKAY Africa, and Manasseh Mathiang, a youth activist.

Both Jame and Wani have written on their Facebook accounts, confirming their arrests.

Police at the scene has been telling the protesters to seek permission from the police, and not to block road that they said is causing traffic jam.

Meanwhile, a civil society has called on the authorities to immediately release those arrested during “peaceful protests”.

Anataban and the country’s youth are deeply concerned over the poor management of national institutions clearly expressed by The National Hospital’s handling of the issue and the subsequent increase of ongoing silencing and dehumanization of youth peaceful and nation-building ideas.

John, a protester has appealed to the country’s police chief to free those activists. 

The activists stated that the arrest amounts to curtailing the right to freedom of expression of the citizens.

According to activists, the demonstration is prompted by lack of actions by the leaders to address concerns of the common citizens such as that which led to the death of the renowned artist.

The analyst says the citizens are just now tired – fed-up of the weak system and corruption by individuals in the police.

Anataban – human rights group demands immediate release of the youth activists arrested

“Anataban and the youth of South Sudan are deeply concerned over the poor management of national institutions clearly expressed by thehe national hospital’s handling of the issue and the subsequent increase of ongoing silencing and dehumanization of youth peaceful and nation-building ideas,” said in the press release.

The Anataban called upon Police and the Judiciary to follow up the case and ensure justice for the lost lives; while urging the President to immediately create an independent National Hospitals Management Authority to look into the National hospital management deficiencies. 

Right defenders further suggested that the police consider establishing functional police units within the main hospitals to ensure timely provision and emergency services delivery.

Anataban commended the police should monitor license issuance to all drivers, introducing speed limits of not more than 40km/h within the city, Clear marking and provisions of zebra signs, and crossing on the roads. 

The statement further call upon the responsible personnel and institutions to act on our below demands;

They urged traffic Licensing office; to consider revising license issuance to drivers in general especially truck drivers, and make it a prerequisite to only give licenses to qualified and experienced drivers,” said in part of the statement.

It added the police and all security agents; to adhere to the constitution and respect freedom of expression, rights to assembly, and peaceful demonstration.

South Sudan, oil – rich country gained her independence, still have used a poor health system, featured with corruption and dictatorship rule.

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