Luka Biong says he was detained and denied citizenship because he supported SPLM unity
June 3rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan academic and former head of Juba University’s Center for Peace and Development Studies has said that people, including him, who supported the SPLM reunification were detained and denied South Sudan citizenship by the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardiit.
Biong revealed this in an opinion article published by the Sudan Tribune on Monday. Although he did not refers to himself by name, he was once detained after he was accused by the government of cooperating with opposition groups and later dismissed from his job at Juba University.
The dismissal of Luka Biong who is from the disputed area of Abyei from his Juba University Job followed a claimed by the South Sudan government to the United Nations that he is a foreigner from the neighboring Sudan.
“Some of us supported the reunification of the SPLM but we ended up detained and arrested unlawfully, evicted from the country for organizing a healthy debate about 28 states, denied citizen status of South Sudan and currently put on the blacklist of people whose South Sudanese passports would not be renewed,” Biong who is also a Global Fellow at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) said.
“While I am for the reunification of the SPLM, there is a clear lack of political will to bring such reunification to fruition as previous experiences attested the short supply of political will. I know some members of the SPLM Detainees thought having the SPLM reunification first might expedite the implementation of the peace agreement. However, it is crystal clear that the peace agreement has not come to life and many observers cast doubt whether such an agreement would see light after the extended six months period,” he added.