United States lawmakers demands release of detained activist

Prominent civil rights activist Peter Biar Ajak (File photo)

Prominent civil rights activist Peter Biar Ajak (File photo)

August 2nd 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Two United States lawmakers, Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey – both of whom are democrats – are calling for the release of South Sudan’s prominent human rights and political activist Peter Biar Ajak who is under NSS detention in Juba.

On Saturday, Peter Biar Ajak was arrested at the country’s Juba international airport by the national security service. He was leaving the capital Juba for Northern Bhar Al-Ghazal state capital Aweil for a red army program due to take place there.

His arrest sparked a wide international condemnations both from governments and international human rights organization.

In a joint statement issued on Wednesday and was seen by the Nyamilepedia, the two United States lawmakers said they are concerned by the detention of the South Sudanese activist and by reports they said alleged that the country’s leader, Salva Kiir, ordered personally the crackdown on government critics.

“We are deeply concerned about the reported detention of South Sudanese peace activist Peter Biar Ajak by South Sudan’s National Security Service after his criticism of the direction of the South Sudanese peace process.  We are also troubled by reports that President Salva Kiir personally ordered a crackdown on government critics.”

The US senators further said the views expressed by the people of South Sudan in regards to the ongoing peace process whether those views that are critical to the government or the opposition are components of a successful legitimate peace in the country.

“The views of the South Sudanese people are a critical component of any successful and legitimate peace process in South Sudan.  This includes the participation of civil society, women, religious leaders, and other marginalized groups,” the two senators said in a joint statement.

The joint statement further said the arrest of the prominent activists at a time when the United States and its allies are yearning for peace in the young African nation dismiss the claim by the South Sudan government that it is fir peace.

“The arrest of Peter Ajak at a time when the United States and its Troika partners, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and the African Union are encouraging a truly inclusive process undermines the credibility of the government’s claim that it wants peace,” further said the statement.

The two senators further urged the South Sudan government release the detained activist as a good gesture for peace as stipulated for in the permanent ceasefire agreement signed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum by President Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar.

“We call on the Government of South Sudan to release Peter Ajak and other political prisoners immediately, and respect the rule of law and fundamental freedoms that are necessary pillars of peace in South Sudan,” they said.