(OurSouthSudan) H.E. President Salva Kiir Republic of South Sudan Juba, South Sudan
September 6, 2016
SUBJECT: FREE Gov. Elias Waya, General Andrea Dominic and other Political Detainees
We, the undersigned, representing community and civil society organizations of Western Bahr el Ghazal (WBG), and all fellow South Sudanese supporters of peace and peaceful coexistence, are writing to appeal to you for the immediate release of former Wau State Governor, General Elias Waya Nyipuoch, his former Deputy, General Andrea Dominic, and all political detainees arrested by security agents for the past three (3) years.
Your Excellency, you issued a presidential decree on June 24, 2016, relieving General Waya of his position without stating the reasons for dismissal. After that, he respectfully accepted your call for him to report to Juba and since then he was held by the National Security Services (NSS) without any charges, denied access to lawyers and contacts with his family. Reports from family indicate that he has high blood pressure and needs regular medical attention.
Previously, in February 2016, then Deputy Governor, General Andrea Dominic was arrested without charges and still detained by the NSS to this moment.
This is not the first time that we write a letter to protest the atrocities faced by, and arbitrary arrests of, Wau citizens including politicians and activists. We have noted an increase in the number of detained people including George Livio Bahara, a journalist, held without charges since August 2014 and transferred to the National Security headquarters in Juba.
We, the people of WBG, strongly condemn the mistreatment of our people and are upset that our communities have been under continuous attacks. Our people have been uprooted, thousands killed, and our land occupied. These kind of attacks and atrocities against the civilians of WBG have been going on for the past four (4) years which started under the hands of Governor Rizik Zakaria. The government claims that the civilians of WBG have links with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition (SPLM-IO), even though these kinds of arrests and attacks have been going on in the state long before the outbreak of the December 2013 war. This is a provocation to the people of WBG and further indication that the administration continues to marginalize the civilians and forcefully taking their lands.
Your excellency the national security agency is known to detain people without laying charges. Since your excellency relieved General Waya from his duties, what will be the purpose of continuously detaining him and his deputy? Also what threats does he and other detainees pose to the national security? We come to believe, based on reports of the Wau crisis carried out by an investigation committee you formed, that Gov. Elias and his former deputy were arrested based on false accusation by the SPLA Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong, who has been actively militarizing the region and arming local youths against the people of WBG.
We believe the continuous detaining of these citizens violate their civil rights which is enshrined in the constitution of South Sudan and the international law. You have previously issued presidential decree granting amnesty to all political detainees and prisoners of war. In addition, the law includes a provision that individuals should be presented before a court within 24 hours. These did not happen in the cases of General Elias Waya and General Andrea Dominic.
Mr. President, you do not need to be reminded that these two generals are heroes who served their nation with distinction during the liberation war of 21 years. We, the people of WBG, hold both generals in high regards for serving their community with dignity and respect. On these grounds, and in cognizant of their nationalism, we appeal to your administration to respect the rule of law of the country and we urge your excellency to free them.
Sincerely, Dr. Archangelo Bambo Nela Dallas, TX – USA Cyrill Garang Luo Community – Canada Albert Salatin Western Bahr el Ghazal Community – USA Kon K Madut University of Ottawa – Ottawa, Canada Matilda Rial Global Partnership for Peace in South Sudan – Lanham, MD – USA Wadi Lissa Global Partnership for Peace in South Sudan – Arlington, WA – USA Teresa Sudan Ayo Western Bahr el Ghazal Development Initiative – Khartoum, Sudan Sarah Rial Global Partnership for Peace in South Sudan – Boston, MA – USA
This petition will be delivered to:
President Salva Kiir
Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations)
President of the United States
Human Rights Campaign