JUBA – South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) has allegedly kidnapped former Member of Parliament Animu Athiei who whose appointment into parliament was removed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit in May for allegedly being a Ugandan citizen, family members and friends have said.
Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, a friend who said he contacted her family said Animu went missing days before Christmas and was reportedly seen by men wearing South Sudan National Security Service and has since not been seen by her family as well as her friends sparking concerns among activists on social media.
“I last saw her on December 20 and two days later, I was told that she was arrested by members of the national security service, we believe that she was arrested by the national security service because the men who picked her up were wearing national security uniform,” one friend said on condition of anonymity.
Animu was appointed to parliament in May on the ticket of the Other Political Parties (OPP), but her appointment was revoked by President Salva Kiir Mayardit after public uproar over her alleged Ugandan citizenship.
“When we received the nomination, we just endorsed it as it is. Eventually, there have been complaints from the community that there was an issue with her. So the party leadership has finally resolved that her nomination has to be put on hold or suspended,” Peter Mayen, the leader of the OPP said in May.
Two years earlier, Animu who was serving as a consultant in the office of Taban Deng Gai – then First Vice President – was fired over unclear circumstances, after an online disclosure of her alleged dual citizenship.
Ms. Animu has not come out publically to clarify the matters surrounding her nationality.
She has in many occasions represented South Sudan in international and local events.
According to the Nationality Act, a person born before or after 2011 shall be considered a South Sudanese National by birth if such person’s Parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, on the male or female line, were born in South Sudan; or belongs to one of the indigenous ethnic communities of South Sudan.
Chapter Six of the Act says if a person knowingly makes a false representation or false statement in reference to a material fact in an application for a certificate of nationality or certificate of naturalization, commits an offense and upon conviction shall be stripped of nationality, and fine, or imprisoned for a period not exceeding five years.