Is the Republic of South Sudan on the brink of becoming a Police State? 

By Buay Kapduel Buol


South Sudan police forces (File photo)
South Sudan police forces (File photo)

July 31st 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The repressive measures taken by South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) operatives to crack down on freedom of expression in South Sudan is unacceptable and absolutely regrettable.

The arrest of several youth groups, detention of prominent political and human rights activists, Peter Biar Ajak as well as the detention of many other who have committed none of the crimes they are accused of is a clear indication that the National Security Service have became a major threat to the country’s national security pushing it on the brink of becoming a ‘police state’.

Hardly a day goes by without a person being spied on and killed. Journalists and activists have been coerced, arbitrarily detained, forced against their will and tortured by the brutal state agents.

The South Sudan Transitional Constitution of 2011, mandated  the National Security Service to carry out professional duties and its mandate shall focus merely on information gathering, handling issues, protect the country’s public institutions and safeguard the civilian population from  external threats and that it shall respect and treat all citizens on an equal basis.
The constitution never gave the security agents the recipe to spy, torture and take to court the citizens without the supposed judicial process. All-in-all, they are doing these violations without any constitutional mandate.
In light of the most recent human rights violations as reported by the UN early this month, it seems the whole country is heading towards a point of no return. There’s absolutely no little prospect of an end to the South Sudan National Security Service’s brutality. Residents in Juba always live in substantial fear from their own government simply because the government has failed to safeguard their well-being.
If you look at the SPLA, National Security Service, and National Police Service in Juba and draw a comparison, you will come to the conclusion that there’s almost no difference, one can only distinguish them from their different types of uniforms they wear.
Human rights, and fundamental freedoms have disintegrated into thin air in this country, South Sudan is closer to what the UN will officially term as a “totalitarian state” that’s being run by a group of political security forces who secretly spy on the citizens, torture them without being questioned.
The Universal Declaration of Human 
In Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights state that,
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice
The International Convention on the  R2P is stipulated in three pillars according to the UN.
Pillar One:  Every state has the Responsibility to Protect its populations from four mass atrocity crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
Pillar Two:  The wider international community has the responsibility to encourage and assist individual states in meeting that responsibility.
Pillar Three:  If a state is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take appropriate collective action, in a timely and decisive manner and in accordance with the UN Charter.
South Sudan, has been a country where unarmed civilians who air their opinions firmly and voice their concern are seen as legitimate target than weapon bearers. This is where the government’s NSS and other outlawed forces go wrong, they have gone to the extent of surreptitiously infiltrating into Refugee Camps looking for anyone who opposes their political views.
The National Security operatives and other outlawed forces in the country, should bear in mind that, this country didn’t get its independence overnight on its own, it had been paid dearly in sweat and blood by the civil population that are now being subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, therefore, the NSS should take note on that and refrain from repressive measures, or we risk returning to an anarchy society, that everyone will be free to take the law into their own hands.

By nature, non of us was born with an AK-47 on their shoulder, being a solder is individual choice,  but should this be the case, let everyone go his own way.

The author is a journalist, and human rights activist, he can be reached through: gatnyadin@gmail.com.

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