Opposition party leader calls for political tolerance of divergent views

The leader of the United South Sudan Party (USSP) and whip for other political parties (OPP) in the Council of States Paulino Lukudu Obede has called for tolerance of divergent political views following the recent arrest and detention of one of his party members.

By Benjamin Takpiny

The leader of the United South Sudan Party (USSP) and whip for other political parties (OPP) in the Council of States Paulino Lukudu Obede has called for tolerance of divergent political views following the recent arrest and detention of one of his party members.

Lukudu expressed his concern in a letter written to the recently reconstituted political parties’ council in which he raised the recent illegal arrest and detention of his party member and leader of USSP in Jonglei, Madit Jacob Panchol.

“Such action is tantamount to the violation of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 as amended article 25, Political Parties Act article 8 (1 and 2), article 24 (3) (b) and article 26 (a and e) as well is a violation of the orders issued by President of the Republic of South Sudan for the de-politicization of the organized forces and opening of the political space,” Lukudu said. 

He said that Panchol was arrested on 28th January 2024 in the afternoon hours in Juba while on his way to St. Theresa Cathedral for afternoon service.

Lukudu said they had arranged a meeting of party members after the church service, but unfortunately Panchol did not make it as he was arrested by the national security organs.

 “He (Panchol) was unconstitutionally arrested by three individuals driving  security land cruiser pickup of whom they identified themselves as members from the Security and he was taken to unknown location for three hours of questioning, intimidation and harassment, they were demanding him to resign from “United South Sudan Party” and join “Sudan People Liberation Movement” as the only condition for his safety,” Lukudu said.

He condemned the behavior of security apparatus of intimidating and unlawful arrests of opposition politicians, adding that such behaviors are limiting political freedoms and activities of the political parties.

 “At this juncture where the country is gearing towards elections, we are demanding for opening up of the political space, respect to all the relevant laws and political freedoms, deployment of the necessary unified forces, non-interference into the activities of the Political Parties and investigation on defiance members of the security apparatus trying to violate the country’s laws on political freedom,” Lukudu said. 

He disclosed that the United South Sudan Party will not keep silent in advocating for good governance and peaceful, united and forward-looking liberal democratic South Sudan for all. 

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