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Prendergast calls on increased attention, pressure on S. Sudan

John Prendergast, a co-founder of The Sentry - The Enough Project | File Photo

The Head of Enough Project has called on the US Congress to increase attention and pressure on South Sudan.

This comes just days after US government said it was reviewing its aid assistance to South Sudan following “lack of progress” toward resolving the ongoing civil war.

Prendergast made the remarks when testifying before the congress on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr. Prendergast said the example of violent kleptocracy in South Sudan include reduction in civic space, arrest and detention, and limited space for civil society.

“The National Security Service (NSS) has sweeping powers of arrest and detention and has used these powers to limit the space for civil society by arresting activists and detaining them for unspecified periods without trial, as well as banning them from foreign travel and confiscating their passports,” Prendergast told the Congress.

He cited the disappearance of two leading activists – Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idris– from Kenya in early 2017 as example of violet kleptocracy.

“Many believe they are either dead or being held in South Sudan,” he continued.

He told the Congress that the cases should be “prioritized, their whereabouts should be revealed”.

“There must be accountability for those in the Kenyan and South Sudanese governments responsible for their disappearance and abuse.”

Prendergast further said both media and humanitarian workers face similar pressures.

He accused both the government and Opposition of attacks on humanitarian aid workers, including holding them for ransom.