CIVIL SOCIETY AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS STATEMENT ON SOUTH SUDAN
Oct 31st, 2017(Nyamilepedia) — WE; the civil society leaders and human rights defenders representing different nongovernmental and nonprofit-making organisations from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, South Sudan and Canada who gathered in Arusha, Tanzania, from 15 to 27 October 2017, attending East Africa Human Rights Programme;
TAKE NOTICE of the deploring human rights violations in South Sudan, marked by so many internally displaced camps within South Sudan and refugee camps in the neighbouring countries where South Sudanese live in inhumane conditions;
FURTHER TAKE NOTICE of the continued violations of the right to freedom of speech, expression, opinion, press and assembly perpetrated by the Government of South Sudan through its security agents;
CONCERNED of the constant crackdown of the South Sudanese civil society leaders, human rights defenders and journalists in exile in Uganda and Kenya by the security agents of South Sudan;
AWARE OF the continued harassment of the South Sudanese political opposition figures in Kenya and Uganda, which has resulted already in abduction and deportation of former Secretary-General of the South Sudan Law Society Dong Samuel Luak and two political opposition figures; Aggrey Idris and James Gatdet Dak;
Noted in principle the position of the Government of Uganda in having no open policy to allow the security agents of South Sudan to kidnap, abduct and deport South Sudanese civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and political opposition members in exile in Uganda;
UNITED BY THE COMMON PURPOSE of defending the universality of human rights which is centred on the respect of human dignity, equality and fundamental freedoms of an individual;
IN SOLDARITY WITH South Sudanese civil society colleagues, human rights defenders and journalists;
WE CONDEMN in strongest terms possible the illegal actions of the Government of South Sudan through its national security agents in harassing, intimidating, cracking down, kidnapping and planning to and deporting civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and political opposition figures in exile in Uganda and Kenya.
WE STRONGLY URGE the Government of South Sudan to stop with immediate effect its harassment and intimidation to abduct and deport the civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and political opposition figures in exile in Uganda and Kenya.
WE FURTHER recommend the following:
- Calling on South Sudan to respect its regional and international obligations and abide by Bill of Rights enshrined in Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011.
- Urging South Sudan to respect universal human rights values, standards and norms under the United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other regional and international human rights instruments which it must adhere to by ratification and by virtue of its membership to the East African Community, African Union and United Nations.
- Urging the relevant organs of the East African Community, African Union and the United Nations to hold South Sudan accountable in its continued intimidation and harassment of civil society leaders and human rights defenders in South Sudan and in exile, on the basis of opinion and right to free speech and press.
- Calling on the Government of Kenya to immediately stop allowing its soil being used by the South Sudanese security agents to perpetrate violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of South Sudanese civil society leaders and human rights defenders in exile in Kenya.
- Strongly urging the Government of Kenya to thoroughly investigate the whereabouts of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idris.
- Calling on Government of South Sudan to release all political prisoners and detainees of conscience, freedom of speech and expression.
- Calling on the Government of Uganda to continue with its policy of disallowing South Sudanese national security and military intelligence agents in harassing and cracking down the civil society leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and political opposition members in Uganda.
- Urging civil society fraternity and human rights defenders in Great Lakes Region, Africa and the world at large to stand in solidarity with South Sudanese civil society leaders and human rights defenders whose human right to freedom of speech and expression is being constantly violated by security agents of the Government of South Sudan.
- Calling on African Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, United Nations, United States, United Kingdom and the rest of the regional and international bodies to ensure an inclusively designed peace process to revive the 2015 Peace Agreement to restore stability in South Sudan.
SIGNED: ORGANISATIONS AND INDVIDUAL HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS:
- Aswa Community Development Initiative(ACDI)-Uganda.
- Centre for Right Education, Governance and Development(CREDG)-Kenya.
- Children Education Society(CES)-Tanzania.
- Coalition of Burundian Associations for Human Rights(CABDH)-Burundi.
- Darfur Bar Association(DBA)-Sudan.
- Fahamu Networks for Social Justice-Kenya.
- Initiative for Peace and Human Rights(IPHR)-Burundi.
- Lady Mermaids Bureau-Uganda
- Muslims for Human Rights(MUHURI)-Mombasa, Kenya.
- Nakuru County Human Rights Network(NAHURI-NET)-Kenya.
- Resource for Sustainable Participatory Education and Community Transformation(RESPECT)-Uganda.
- Ritongo Afrika Universal Performing Arts(RAUPA)-Kenya.
- South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA)-South Sudan.
- Tracks for Training and Human Development(TTHD)-Sudan.
- Uganda Mental Health Fellowship Atanekontola(UMHFA)-Uganda.
- Women in Capacity Building Organisation-Kenya.
- World March of Women(WMW)-Kenya.
- Chris Bradley: Human Rights Defender-Canada.
- Joseph Kimutai: Human Rights Defender-Kenya.
- Lugendo Tracy: Human Rights Defender-Uganda.
- Montaser Mohamed: Human Rights Defender-Sudan.
- Osman Eisa: Human Rights Defender-Sudan.
- Sandra Riza: Human Rights Defender-Uganda.
- Wini Omer: Human Rights Defender-Sudan.