9 February 2014

South Sudan: Are the Four Political Detainees Safe in Juba?

It has never been a surprise for me, to doubts about the living condition and health of the four political detainees in the South Sudanese Capital Juba since they were arrested last year in December after President Kiir ordered his security intelligence to detain his political opponents and he (Kiir) said the four plus the rests who were released made a coup attempt. The question is, why releasing seven excluding the four, if there is nothing behind the scene?

Well; after the Republican guards started the war that have lost ten thousands (10,000) people according to the different reports, the senior members of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SPLM) were detained in Juba and most of them were released last week living the four behind the custody in the Capital for example Pagan Amum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Oyei Deng and Majak D Agoot. Government gave treason charges to the four whom the government is saying are in the custody and, the other three who escaped detention like Dr Machar, Alfred Ladu Gore and Taban Deng Gai.

Who can predict that, the four are very safe when they were arrested differently with the other seven who were released last week?

People are having different perceptions whether the remaining four are safe or they are not healthy. No one knows up to date, because based on what is on the ground after the seven were released , people began imagining ,why arresting people differently if there is no strategy behind?

Moreover the fact is that, they were put differently without knowing who is alive and who is not there. Many people are viewing, that there might be agenda of not releasing the remaining four if they are all safe in the custody. However, most of the International Community (IC) are calling for the releasing of the four political detainees in Juba including United States of America and Norway but the government of General Salva Kiir Mayardit is not listening to the world leaders at all, but the advice he listen most is President Museveni who is protecting him to be in the leadership for decades base on their agreement.

The question might come, will Kiir be the President if at all, and most of the guys among the four are not healthy in the custody? Will he not be taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague?

Hence, what I know is that, government of Mayardit might not release some of the four people if at all, they have done away with someone, it will be very heard to release the remaining because the secret will be expose to the world and after that, war might escalate again and again, I guess.

Everybody is concern about the health and the living condition of the four, and that was why sister of Pagan said, she doubts about his brother health in the custody.

Key Recommendations;

The International Community (IC), Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) should really investigate more whether the four are very safe in the custody in Juba or not

The world should give the ultimatum to President Kiir in Juba to release the four if at all, they are safe. Because, the world has seen nothing realistic about Juba government detaining the political opponents without good bases.

Thirdly there is need for the formation of committees by International Community, Intergovernmental Authority on the Development (IGAD) and Africa Union to go to Juba and see the four in the custody and show them to the citizen of South Sudan through the Media if they are still there, to avoid doubts and wrong perceptions that is in the minds of the most of the South Sudanese

Author is Independent Journalist who had written articles extensively as Columnist on the issues of Democratization and human Rights in South Sudan. He can be contact through;southsudanjournalist@gmail.com. He is also writing a book on Tribalism and Corruption in the Republic of South Sudan

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