South Sudanese Activists On The Run As State Security Hunts
By Deng Machol
Juba – Abraham Awolich, a South Sudanese analyst with the Juba-based Sudd Institute is on run as the country’s national security hunts.
The crackdown by the security agents came after analyst Awolich and other activists under the umbrella “The People’s Coalition for Civil Action” issued a strong statement condemning governance failure in the last ten years and called for the change in the country.
On Monday, analyst Awolich, South Sudanese – American citizen, shared a message of his escape on his Facebook page, captioned “I am on the run.”
“Friends, relatives, and colleagues, the government of South Sudan is pursuing me with the intention to arrest me,” Awolich said, a managing director of Sudd institute. “This is because we made a declaration on Friday (last week) to challenge the government’s poor performance.”
On Monday, the National Security Services (NSS) officials stormed his office and closed it down.
“My office, the office of the Sudd Institute, was stormed this morning (Monday) and my staff was arrested and taken to the Blue House. Their crime is that they work with me,” Awolich said. “They said unless I surrender, the Sudd Institute shall remain closed,” he added.
On the other hand, his colleague, Kuel Aguer Kuel, former caretaker governor of the country’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, who was the one of signatories on the “People’s Coalition” was reported arrested by the state security.
However, many activists, like analyst Awolich are also on run from the country’s security crackdown.
“My colleagues and I are determined to challenge the state no matter the cost. Our people fought a dignified war to realize a country of their own. We cannot accept or tolerate the establishment of a dictatorship in our country,” said Awolich.
“Our people are rising up to fire the dictators and murderers and I am proud to stand with them. The time has come to bring down the failed, yet dangerous regime,” he wrote on his page.
The policy analyst, who didn’t disclose his location promised to address the nation on Wednesday regarding the crackdown.
Through these actions, the observers say the Juba regime demonstrates that it is a totalitarian, politically bankrupt, and failed institution that does not tolerate or value civil discourse. The People’s Coalition, therefore appeal to the people of South Sudan, to use mass mobilization to bring down this authoritarian, tyrannical, corrupt, and deadly government of cliques.
“The People’s Coalition should not be underestimated in terms of its ability to confront the government and organize the South Sudanese people. As a nonviolent political action group, we caution the state against a harsh start to this process,” said in the statement.
The People’s Coalition further condemns these unlawful act on its members. The Juba government is yet to comment on this issues.
After signing of the revitalized peace deal and followed by the establishment of the peace government, there were glimpse hopes that there will be absolutely freedom of expression and mark the end of dictatorship rule, but it’s dent.