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U.S. senators call to free South Sudan’s prominent activist

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Peter Biar Ajak poses with Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban, on 7 April 2018 (ST Photo)
August 1, 2018 (WASHINGTON) - Two U.S. senators called on the South Sudanese authorities to release a prominent activist known for his vocal criticism against the government for its lack of seriousness to end the nearly five-year war in the war-ravaged country.

“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," said a statement released by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Chris Coons (D-DE), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"We are also troubled by reports that President Salva Kiir personally ordered a crackdown on government critics," further stressed the statement.

Peter Biar Ajak was arrested on Saturday morning at Juba airport while he was on his way to Aweil to attend the Red Army Foundation commemoration day. He is the founding chairman of the group.

Amnesty International in a call for urgent action said Ajak may be held in solitary confinement, adding that he has been denied access to a lawyer.

The two democrats senators said Ajak arrest, at a time when the region and the international community including the US support an inclusive peace, undermines the credibility of the government’s claim that it wants peace.

The statement further mentioned the disappearance from Nairobi in January of 2017 of two South Sudanese human rights activists Dong Samuel Luak, and Aggrey Idri. Both were reportedly detained by South Sudanese security service without charge.

“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," says the statement.

Senator Booker is the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy.

It is worth mentioning that Senator Robert Patrick Casey of Pennsylvania released a twit expressing his support for Ajak and called for his release.

"I am very troubled to hear Peter Biar Ajak - a committed human rights defender educated in Philadelphia - has been detained in South Sudan without access to counsel. Standing with constituents’ calls for justice," said Casey.

Also, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was the first American politician to call for Ajak freedom.

"I’ve just learned that the security services in South Sudan have arrested Dr Peter Biar Ajak, a former Kennedy School student who’s working tirelessly to promote peace in his native country. Arrest clearly politically motivated #FREEPETERBIAR," said Power in a twit message on 30 July.

Senators Booker and Coons called on the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and SPLM-Io leader Riek Machar "to fully commit to truly inclusive negotiations, and to demonstrate the leadership necessary to bring genuine peace and accountable governance to South Sudan.”

(ST)

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  • 2 August 08:16, by Pakuai

    Has those damned two so-called US senators released their criminals they hold without trials in Guantanamo Bay, African-Americans & other minorities the evils are keeping as their money making machines in their so-called "private US run jails" in the US? Really? What does the US, their evil juus, their gulf arabs states, their cloned so-called arabs of North Sudan, their UN, their sleazy NGOs>>>

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    • 2 August 08:21, by Pakuai

      and some of their creepy allies in between? The US, the UK, their UN, their evil juus, their gulf Arab states, their sleazy NGOs, their cloned so-called arabs of North Sudan, their gulf Arab states paymasters & some of their creepy allies in between have step on the wrong people feet. The Dinkas/Monyjiengs of the Sudan>>>

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      • 2 August 08:26, by Pakuai

        We are going to bomb the evil to near extinction, reasons, pure HATRED & RACISM. Who says we want the evil white Americans, English people, their evil juus, theri cloned so-called arabs of North Sudan, their gulf Arab states’ paymasters & some of their creepy allies in between in our country? Who really says that we want these vermins in our country? Who really says?>>>

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        • 2 August 08:35, by Pakuai

          No one fellows. My lowly informed South Sudanese idiots, WW3 is going to start here in South Sudan. This is our lowly informed Nuers & some of their creepy allies in between have been after all along. Mr. Riek Machar went and study ’magic university of Bradford, UK. In the devil infected island of England" My fellows, South Sudanese fools, sharpen your damn arms again. But let the mighty SPLM/A>>>

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          • 2 August 08:41, by Pakuai

            take these vermins head-on again. The so-called Queen Victoria that our country is part of their devil so-called *ANGLO-AMEICAN empire* Good luck to the evil white Americans, English people, their evil juus, their UN, their so-called, their sleazy NGOs, their cloned so-called arabs of North Sudan, their gulf Arab states’ financiers and some of their creepy allies in between>>>

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            • 2 August 08:52, by Pakuai

              My lowly informed South Sudanese fools. War is here. Be very careful fellows, we don’t want any evil white Americans, English people, their evil juus, their damned UN, their NGOs. Here in South Sudan. We are VERY racists and full of pure HATRED & RACISM. Fellows, We are going to occupy Kenya, Bomb the so-called ethiipia, North Sudan & our mighty US and France army base out Djibouti into RED SEA>>

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              • 2 August 09:04, by Pakuai

                before we bomb the evils out of of our country & our people once and for all. Fellows, does any South Sudanese idiot know the so-called FASHODA INCIDENCE? The US, the UK, France, their cloned arabs of North Sudan, their UN, gulf arabs states>>>

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              • 2 August 09:16, by Pakuai

                Reasons, pure HATRED & RACISM. Fellows, watch this space.

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  • 2 August 09:22, by Kenyang ll

    Main reason America took side & help South Sudan gained independence was due to large pressure from Christian population in America who saw Islamist (NiF 1990s) jahid war on South Sudan unacceptable. One of other important reasons was because John Garang was educated America.

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    • 2 August 09:39, by Pakuai

      Mr. Kenyang ll,
      That is exactly true. "The US, the UK & their so-called evil juus with their US-AFRICOM" were the ones who ’killed Mr. John Garang on his way to back New site (New Kush), our today’s Imatong state out of map, we are here. Mr. Kenyang ll>>>>

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      • 2 August 10:11, by Kenyang ll

        Liberator John Garang has died of pure pilot error in combination of bad weather along his own bad decision to travel at night. I didn’t see (yet) what exactly mountain their chopper hit, i lived and knew all those Lotuke hills. They are very high (tall and ambush design) and any helicopter will have hard time during daylight maneuvering around to reach New Cush let alone night with bad weathers.

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        • 2 August 10:45, by Kenyang ll

          Pakuai, True enemy of South Sudanese people are selfish and greedy animals like Salva Kiir who stole millions of dollars to own personal banks, waste it on criminal children in Nairobi with millions more wasted in Juba offices while millions South Sudanese go hungry, walk miles to get water/firewood or go to school.

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          • 2 August 11:25, by Kenyang ll

            Many of ongoing projects (or completed) in South Sudan whether it’s polio immunization, school, road, or police training, you name it, it’s likely America or other countries helping. Kiir rotten regime is only busy killing South Sudanese at night or throw them in jail. I fail to see why anyone can’t see true enemy.

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    • 2 August 09:43, by Kenyang ll

      Current war in South Sudan was direct result of inferior President Kiir rejecting democratic process accelerated by power thief Riek Machar. Everything else from lunatics is nonsense.

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  • 2 August 13:30, by Angelo Achuil

    If our NSS will remain relevant and credible in years to come, this thing of prevailing arbitrary arrest, detention and bashing must stop. Where is the bills of rights? What is the use of the court? Let the witness file charges against Peter Biar or release him.

    If they are not interested in upholding individual’s rights in the constitution, then may God have mercy for the future of our country!

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