Four detained monyiemiji members released.

An ultimatum banner pitched in front of the UNMISS compound by the youth group in Torit. 30th June 2021

By Obiala Angel-Radio Emmanuel

Four detained members of monyiemiji have on Tuesday been released from after six days of detention at the police custody. Torit high court convicted four members of monyiemiji on different charges under the south Sudan penal code. Their arrest followed protest by the Monyiemiji over what they referred to as “Unjust employment” which does not favor the indigenous in the state.

During the celebration of the 10th independence anniversary in Torit, the representative of monyiemiji appealed to the governor to pardon and release the four who were charged by the court in the state.

The defense lawyer of the Monyiemiji, Mr. Simon Fredrick Pasquale says the detained monyiemiji members paid a fine of one hundred and twenty south Sudanese pounds each before they were released.

“During trial the accused persons were six, three ladies and three men, after the hearing of the case, the court came with judgement by freeing two of the accuse because they were not present during the demonstration, and the rest four were convicted under section 8 participating in gathering with intend to cause public havoc or violence, and the rest were also convicted under section 227 for going to national security office when their colleagues were arrested, the four accused were fine amount of 120,000ssp, failure to pay they were to be imprisoned for three years, since the date of the judgment the Monyiemiji manage to contribute some amount of money until yesterday they pay the fine of the three, because one her fine was paid since day of judgment she was release and the rest were release yesterday.” Says Mr. Fedrick

According to the lawyer, citizens in the country have a right and freedom of expression. He believes if the monyiemiji notified the concerned authorities before the demonstration they wouldn’t have been convicted. He says the monyiemiji were convicted under section 80 of the South Sudan law act.

 “Actually the monyiemiji were practicing their right and right of labor is known internationally and also constitution of South Sudan talk about it, what make the demonstration wrong there were no notifications to the authorities like the police, secondly they use intimidating words like giving the NGOs, UNMISS and international Companies 72 hours, so the court interpret this that what if something happen within and after this 72 hours, that is why they were convicted.

Fredrick Oredie, a Monyiemiji youth who was among the detained members, states that upon arrest and detention, they were tortured and kept in restricted locations. Fredrick hopes for dialogue to resolve their matters.

“To me personally when they arrested us in national security we were actually touched, at the moment we feel pain even if they release us yesterday, okay what change is actually we have been kept in a confine environment, but because I am out at least I feel better, so I can now treat myself, so this is what I can say basically on the release, we need to sit with the government so that we continue the Dialogue and this is what we are looking forward.” Says Oredie

Charles Okulu, the Chairperson of Civil Society network in Eastern Equatoria State applauds the Government for proving a peaceful step to the Citizens of the state by releasing the youths. He notes that the issue of unjust employment is an overall issue happening in the whole country, not only in Eastern Equatoria State.

“As an activities is  recommendable for the government to release the money-miji  that is a true demonstration to the government that they are for peace what is now very important is that, let us not look at the behaviors of the money-miji but we need to focus let us look at the general issues facing  the youth in the state  in a peaceful way without instigating any conflict, at the moment engage all the youth in the state of Eastern Equatoria and what people need to understand that is not  only the  monyiemiji having problem is  for the entire youth of south Sudan so for case of Eastern Equatoria let have dialogue as the only way to address the issue of the youth.” Okulu says

The activist urges youths in the state to use proper ways of expressing their grievances rather than violence.

The speakers made their statement to Radio Emmanuel in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.