JUBA — South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny will have to decide if the country’s National Security Service (NSS) can continue to arrest without a legal warrant, Machar said Thursday.
Based on a 2014 act, the National Security Service which has been accused by rights organizations of human rights violations, can arrest people without the need for an arrest warrant, something that has been lamented by activists and prominent individuals.
The National Constitutional Amendment Committee or N.C.A.C first handed over the national security act to the minister of Justice and constitutional affairs in April 2019.
It was meant to ensure national security officers are held accountable for their actions and ensure that people arrested are not kept in custody without proper communication.
The act was also meant to set up a complaints board made of an independent body.
It was not indicated that national security would arrest anybody without an arrest warrant.
But later, the draft was sent back to the committee for amendment.
In September, the Council of Ministers also approved three security bills to adapt to the resolutions of the revitalized peace agreement.
The bills passed include the Prisons Service Act 2011, SPLA Act 2009, Fire Brigade, and Police Service Act 2009.
According to the revitalized peace deal, the National Constitutional Amendment Committee shall review and complete amendments to relevant national security legislation to bring their provisions into conformity with the agreement.
The bills were drafted in 2019.
However, the first vice president says a provision which is still disputed whether the national security personnel should have the mandate to arrest with a warrant or not.
Dr. Riek Machar said the matter is now expected to be resolved by President Salva Kiir and him.
“The national security still has one provision which needs to be agreed and the provision is whether the national security should be given the power to arrest with a warrant or not,” Dr. Machar said during the SPLM-IO national liberation council meeting in Juba on Thursday.
“That has been referred to the principles that are between me and the President. These laws are important for the formation of unified forces.
“The sooner the national legislature passes them because after all the laws came from the national constitutional amendment committee.
“They should go to parliament and the parliament in one week can pass them, and that will give us as one government the legal basis of unification of forces.”