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U.S. urges S. Sudanese leaders to protect fundamental rights


August 10, 2021 (JUBA)- The United States on Tuesday said it supported South Sudan’s independence in order for the landlocked East African nation to become a fully united, peaceful, just and prosperous society based on respect for human rights and the rule of law.

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South Sudanese people take to the streets as part of a peace march organised by civil society groups in the capital, Juba, on 8 January 2014 (Photo AP/Ali Ngethi)

“These ideals are enshrined in the Transitional Constitution and the Revitalized Peace agreement which provides the framework for the conduct of politics and governance while upholding the values of human dignity and equality”, the U.S embassy in Juba said in a statement.

The Transitional Constitution, it argued, envisions rights and duties of all citizens, stating that “every citizen shall have the right to the freedom of expression” and that “the right to peaceful assembly is recognized and guaranteed.”

“For unity, peace, justice, and prosperity to prevail, South Sudanese must exercise their constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, and access to justice and a fair trial. The United States calls on South Sudanese, their government, and particularly the security services to commit to the conduct of politics and governance only through constitutional, free, fair, peaceful, and credible democratic processes, while shunning violence and actions outside the constitutional framework”, stressed the statement.

The U.S embassy’s statement comes days after authorities arrested former Northern Bahr El Ghazal state governor for signing a document calling on the public to hold the South Sudanese government accountable to the citizens. Other signatories to the document have since gone into hiding for fear of similar arrests.

Last week, after a coalition of civil society groups unveiled a public campaign demanding for political changes in the country more than 10 years its independence.

The group, calling itself the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA), said South Sudan had "lost its moral, political, economic and cultural bearing with no collective sense of higher purpose".

It accused the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of failure to govern the country.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but descended into a civil war two years later when forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and to Riek Machar clashed in the capital, Juba. The conflict saw an estimated more than 400,000 people killed and millions displaced.


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