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U.S. embassy condemns travel ban on South Sudanese civil society leader

Juba Airport
February 27, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The United States embassy in Juba has vigorously condemned the South Sudanese security agents for banning from travelling a civil society leader, stressing this action was unacceptable.

In a statement released Monday, the embassy said the National Security Service agents blocked a civil society leader from travelling to a transitional justice forum.

The embassy didn’t name the civil society leader and didn’t disclose his destination.

"This action, directed against an officially recognized Stakeholder in the High-Level Revitalization Forum peace talks, calls into question the Government of South Sudan’s commitment to Article 5 of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan and the December 2 1 , 2017 Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement".

The statement stressed that the truce specifically calls to encourage civil society to support and promote the agreement which was supposed to create a conducive environment for the revitalization process.

Also, it underlined that the civil society has an important role to play in the resolution of the conflict.

"The Government’s efforts to silence civil society are pointless and embarrassing. We strongly urge the Government of South Sudan to work with the country’s civil society, not against it," emphasized the statement.

The South Sudanese parties are expected to resume the revitalization process during the next two weeks. The IGAD mediators, the African Union and the Troika countries including the US vowed to put pressure on the parties to not resume clashes and to stop hostile actions.

They also called to implement all the confidence-building measures included in the CoH to have a suitable atmosphere when the discussions resume in the near future.