July 22, 2021 (JUBA) – The Troika (United States, United Kingdom and Norway said it is “deeply dismayed” by reports that South Sudan’s National Security Service canceled a civil society panel discussion on the constitutional history of South Sudan in the capital, Juba on July 17.
- Civil society activists demonstrate in Warrap state capital, Kuajok, April 16, 2012 (Julius Uma/ST)
The event, organised by South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF), was part of a series of panel discussions aimed at creating an environment for youth to discuss, understand and own the constitution.
“For peace to take hold, South Sudanese must be able to speak freely. Article 6.13 of South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement states that “The process of permanent Constitution-making shall be led and owned by the people of South Sudan,” the Troika said in statement extended to Sudan Tribune Friday.
The permanent constitution-making process is part of the peace deal signed in September 2018.
According to the Troika, the constitution-making process must be open and inclusive, and must incorporate the voices of South Sudanese citizens, whether through the formal process or through the exercise of the freedom of speech and assembly.
“We take note of the agreement by transitional government parties during the May 25-28 Workshop on the Permanent Constitution-Making Process on the need for an inclusive and participative process,” the statement noted.
The group said they have expressed their concerns about the incident directly to the government and will continue to do so.
Reiterating an earlier statement issued on South Sudan’s Independence Anniversary, the Troika stressed that it is critical for the government to accelerate the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.
“An inclusive constitution-making process is a central part of this agreement. A constitution that is created without input from the citizens will lack popular legitimacy,” further noted the statement.
The Troika urged the South Sudanese government to ensure the rights of freedom of assembly and expression, as guaranteed by the country’s Transitional Constitution.