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NSS detains “Gurush wen?” activist

Author: Kelly Abale | Published: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

One of the billboards that made NSS throw in activists in Juba | Credit | ONAD

A civil society activist is being held by the National Security Service for allegedly spearheading a campaign calling for financial transparency in public offices, the field assistant officer at the Organization for Non-violence and Development has said.

Moses Monday, director of the Organization for Non-violence and Development (ONAD), was arrested by security officers after a billboard calling for accountability of public finance was erected in Juba.

The billboard, with writings “Gurush Wen” translated as “where is the money” demands the government to make all financial spending public as per the laws

The Gurush Wen campaign is implemented by seven local organizations whereby ONAD lead by Monday is a part of. The campaign is supported by the Norwegian People’s Aid.

According to an official at ONAD, soldiers allegedly attached to the State House removed two billboards stationed along the J1 road over the weekend.

Some activists were later arrested while putting up a copy of the billboard at the Muduria roundabout in Juba.

Flora Lukudu, the field assistant at ONAD, says Moses Monday went to the National Security office to inquire why some of his colleagues were arrested.

“Those of Moses decided to go to the office where the operation manager was detained. From there, they had a brief questioning and they took Moses inside,” Ms. Flora told Eye Radio on Wednesday.

Despite hundreds of millions of petrodollars, the government receives monthly, little is known about how it’s spent.

Ms. Flora added that it is not clear if Moses Monday is being held at the National Security Bureau in Juba town or has been transferred to the blue house in Jebel.

ONAD called upon the government to release Monday or hand him over to the police.

Freedom of expression, which has been reportedly abused by security organs such as NSS and, is a right protected by the transitional constitution of South Sudan.

But restrictions on freedom of expression in the country are having a “chilling effect” and “further shrinking the space for debate and dissent” in the conflict-affected country, according to a new UN report.

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