Government crackdown on youth organizations condemned

South Sudanese gathering at Dr. John Garang de’Mabior Mausoleum (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

July 18th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A government crackdown on critical youth organizations has been condemned by an international rights group after an outcry by several youth who accused the government of going after them.

In a report, the Amnesty International said the government has launched a cross-border campaign aimed at silencing non-violent youth after after they have decided to protest against the government of president Salva Kiir in Juba.

“Launching a cross-border campaign of harassment, intimidation and attacks to close a series of planned global protests against the country’s leadership,” the rights group said in a report on Thursday.

Since May, youth groups including one calling itself the Red Card Movement (RCM) have been calling for a nationwide protest that were inspired by the Sudanese revolution which saw the ouster of the country’s longest-serving dictator Omar Al-Bashir.

“We Are At Risk And On The Run,” a member of the youth group was quoted in the report in what the rights group said reveals how the group’s organizers have been subjected to threats by government figures and followed during a campaign of intimidation.

The report by the Amnesty pointed to a speech by South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei Lueth in which he threatened the organizers and those who wish to attend the protest with deadly consequences.

“Those who want to protest are welcome but let them be ready to face consequences. We know those who are spearheading the attempts. We don’t want youth to die again,” Makui told journalists at the time during a press conference held in the capital Juba.

The president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit on May 21st 2019 reiterated that same threat saying the youth were being told to go and don something that might kill them accusing external powers of funding the protests.

“Those who are telling you to go before the government and protest, don’t they know that anything could happen, and people may die? If the government closes its mind and decides to use automatic weapons, why do you want to die for nothing?” Kiir asked at the time.

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