Activist receives ‘death threats over states dispute’

Prominent activist Edmund Yakani said he had received several phone calls with death threats this morning, after his invitation to participate in a consultative meeting in Juba.

The issue of states and their boundaries is a controversial issue that has yet to be addressed by rival leaders before a unity government can be formed by February 22.

President Salva Kiir has called for an expanded consultative meeting aimed at resolving the issue of states at Freedom Hall today morning. The president extended invitations to government officials and other stakeholders.

Edmund Yakani, the head of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), which advocates for peace and human rights, told Radio Tamazuj that he received five phone calls with death threats from anonymous callers in Juba this morning.

 “Three calls threatened me with death if I refused to support the current 32 states, while two calls threatened me with death if I called for a return to the original 10 states,” he explained.

The leading activist pointed out that he would open a case with the police over the matter.  Yakani stressed the vital need for South Sudan’s political leaders “to make the necessary compromise for peace”.

On Wednesday, 10 people including four journalists working for Radio Rumbek 98 FM were briefly detained by security agents for not attending pro-government demonstrations in Rumbek.

South Sudan had 10 states when it obtained independence from Sudan in 2011. But in 2015 President Salva Kiir unilaterally increased the number to 28 and then later 32.

The opposition argues that the constitution and the 2015 peace deal are explicit that South Sudan comprises only 10 states, insisting on a return to the original 10 states, or 23 states based on colonial boundaries.

SOURCE: Radio Tamazuj