For Immediate Release
11 May 2019
UPDM expresses a grave concern as the government enforces its warnings with massive deployment of security forces in Juba town in response to reports of anti-government demonstrations by South Sudan’s Youth.
The freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are rights enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.
The arrests and murder of young men in Juba is a worrying sign that the government is threatening an already weakened freedom of expression to stifle all forms of public discourse.
And where are the R-ARCSS’ other Co-Signatories, and where are the African and the International Community Guarantors’ of the R-ARCSS in all of this? If not to support, at the very least, to just “officially” condemn the killing and the harassment of unarmed young South Sudanese people, who are merely preparing to exercise their constitutional right to protest the current and ongoing grave conditions of their lives as citizens of South Sudanese, on May 16th?
Where is the “real change and reform” towards “Democracy and Freedoms that the R-ARCSS is meant to be facilitating? Is this not the fundamental basis for the R-ARCSS’. Why the silence and hesitation to support the “non-violent” Rights of the People of South Sudan to protest against their hardships?
Where are the signatory Opposition Groups and the African and International Community Guarantors’ of the R-ARCSS to support the Youth of South Sudan at this, their time of empowerment and freedom of speech and expression?
UPDM supports and defends the rights of young men and women to freedom of thought and expression. We consider these rights as playing a fundamental role in developing and consolidating a post-conflict democratic system in South Sudan.
A legitimate government guarantees and defends the constitutional rights and freedom of expression. Hence. UPDM will consistently condemn all violence against unarmed citizens or political pressure and actions that limits their freedom of expression including that of journalists and human rights defenders.
Like their parents and grand parents, we must enable the Brave, Courageous, Patriotic and Nationalistic Youth of South Sudan to dream their future.
Taban Julu Lomuja
UPDM Secretary General
Download Press Statement in PDF Attack on Youth and on Freedom of Expression