JUBA – The European Union in South Sudan is expressing concerns over recent arrest of civil society activists following demonstrations sparked by death of a singer in the capital Juba.
In a statement, the EU “expressed in several occasions its readiness to deepen its partnership with South Sudan, provided reforms are undertaken and the necessary space for civil society is guaranteed.”
“The European Union has therefore witnessed with the utmost attention last week Mobil roundabout demonstration and has been very concerned by the unnecessary and disproportionate force utilised to suppress the expression of peaceful protesters.
“The subsequent arrests raised further concerns about the constitutional rights of South Sudanese citizens to express peacefully and publicly their discontent. “Their swift relief is commendable and Team Europe assumes that exercising their constitutional right will have no consequences for their safety.
“More broadly, in supporting the implementation of the Peace Agreement the European Union is stressing the imperative to guarantee for every citizen the right to the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.
“This entails allowing all kind of political expressions in the country, including peaceful demonstrations, with the view to assure, inter alia, the success of the permanent Constitution-making that shall be led and owned by the people of South Sudan.”