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Prominent activist calls for U.S. sanctions on South Sudan president

July 24, 2020 (JUBA) - A prominent South Sudanese activist Peter Biar Ajak has called on the United States to sanction President Salva Kiir for human rights violations adding he recently ordered to abduct or to murder him.

On 2 January 2019, President Kiir pardoned Ajak and Kerbino Wol Agok who had been jailed for inciting violence and disturbing the peace. During the first week of June 2020, the latter formed a rebel group and was right away killed on 15 June.

Ajak established himself in Nairobi with his wife and three kids to resume the activities of his South Sudan Young Leaders Forum (SSYLF)

In an opinion article he published in the Wall Street Journal, the South Sudanese activist said he had to move to the United States after learning that Kiir had authorized his security service to kill him.

"I arrived safely in Washington Thursday after a harrowing journey from Nairobi, Kenya. I was forced into hiding after receiving word several weeks ago from senior government o?cials in South Sudan that President Salva Kiir had ordered the National Security Service, led by Gen. Akol Koor Kuc, either to abduct me from Kenya or murder me," he said.

He further said that unelected who took power after John Garang’s death in 2005 remains the real obstacle for peace and political stability in the country as his only objective is to keep himself in power.

Accordingly, he called to impose targeted sanctions on Kiir so that the people can vote and elect a new leader to secure peace in South Sudan.

"Remarkably, neither Mr Kiir nor his security chief, Gen. Kuc, has been subjected to sanctions. Sanctioning a head of state is an extraordinary step, but there is a precedent - the U.S. has maintained sanctions on another butcher, Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko, since 2006. Mr Kiir deserves no less," he wrote.

Further, he called on the U.S., United Nations and European Union to put pressure on Ugandan and Sudanese governments to observe and enforce must the existing arms embargo on South Sudan.

On the other hand, Ajak underlined the need for more 5000 peacekeepers in South Sudan before December 2021 to ensure voters’ safety. Also, he said the peace mediation should be carried out by the African Union pointing to the IGAD’s indulgence with President Kiir.