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N. Bahr el Ghazal advisor illegally detained, relatives say

March 22, 2015 (JUBA) – Relatives of an advisor in South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state have described his arrest and detention by authorities as "unconstitutional".

“Only law should govern a nation instead of arbitrary decision by individual government officials. The manner in which Hon. Yel Deng Nguel was arrested continues to remain in incommunicado without the knowledge of state government and his relatives exposed not only regrettable respect within one government but also contemptuous violation of the principles of rule of law,” Santino Bol Akot, a relative told Sudan Tribune.

He said South Sudan’s transitional constitution demands that anyone detained must be produced in court within 24 hours. According to Akot, the arrest violates article 19 (4) of the constitution which supports detention for a period not exceeding 24 hours.

“As a family member and a brother to Hon. Yel, it is disdainful contempt to democratic governance based on justice, equality, respect for human dignity and advance the right as pledged by the people of South Sudan under article 1(5) of the transitional constitution of the republic of South Sudan. As a concerned citizen who is loyal to the party, I urge my chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement state liberation council in Northern Bahr el Ghazal to release him back and forget unfounded allegation,” he appealed.

Nguel was arrested in January on the directive of the former state governor, Paul Malong Awan, who remains the head of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement even after his appointment as the national army chief of general staff.

The reasons for ordering the arrest remains unclear and neither Awan nor the military officials have been able to produce charges for the arrest.

However, multiple sources claim Awan was irked by statement allegedly uttered by Nguel.

(ST)