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ARUSHA - 11 Mar 2019

Government summoned before regional court over Kerbino Wol's detention

Photo: Kerbino Wol
Photo: Kerbino Wol

South Sudan’s government has been summoned to appear before the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) on 25 March over the arrest and detention of businessman Kerbino Wol, a lawyer said.

The came after the Arusha-based African court acted on an application presented by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) in October last year.

Donald Deya, Chief Executive Officer of the Pan African Lawyers Union, told Radio Tamazuj Sunday that the regional court last Wednesday summoned South Sudan’s Advocate-General to appear before it on 25 March.

He pointed out that the government of South Sudan will explain why Kerbino has still not been presented before a competent court.

“The case will proceed even if they don’t come, we would ask the court to move very fast,” Deya said.

Separately, Amnesty International welcomed the judicial development, saying it offers a ray of hope for the people of South Sudan who have endured seemingly endless human rights violations.

“This court decision could open up a much-needed alternative pathway for justice for victims of human rights violations in South Sudan because the national justice system has failed dismally,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“The government of South Sudan must see this as a wake-up call and reform its national justice system and take its obligation to investigate and prosecute alleged human rights violations seriously.”

Kerbino Wol was arrested and detained without charge by National Security Services (NSS) in April 2018.

Following a riot at the Blue House detention center in Juba, national security forces seized Kerbino properties and froze his personal and business bank accounts.

The September 2018 peace agreement provides for the immediate release of all prisoners of war and detainees. While a few detainees have been freed, many remain locked up.