Kuel: Why I forgave those who detained me

Kuel: Why I forgave those who detained me
Former Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State Governor Kuel Aguer Kuel (photo credit: courtesy)

The leader of the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA), Kuel Aguer Kuel, opened up about his arrest and detention with a resounding declaration that he had forgiven those who held him incommunicado.

In an exclusive interview with Radio Tamazuj, Kuel promised that he would remain part of the negotiation between the Government of South Sudan and holdout groups with a clear conscience that he has buried his past.  

“On my part, I have forgiven anyone involved in my detention for nearly 17 months without cause. During this time, I fell ill, and the doctor recommended further treatment outside the country, which was denied,” Kuel said. 

He said PCCA has good intentions for the country, adding that they only need reforms to reduce the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

Kuel denied the claim by the government that they are agents of regime change, appealing to the government to listen to them. 

“As the PCCA, we never called for regime change in Juba. Instead, we advised the government and recommended actions to stabilise the country. We hoped the government would listen and improve its administration,” he said.

However, he refused to be forced to apologise, adding that he was not wrong in any way and that is why the court freed him.

“Why should I apologise? An apology is warranted when someone commits a wrongdoing or crime. None of the charges against me were proven. As a South Sudanese citizen, I have the right to freely express my views on matters concerning my country. Since the court found me not guilty, I see no reason to apologise,” he said.

Kuel was arrested in July 2021 after allegedly signing a declaration for civil disobedience by the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA), calling for nationwide protests and demanding the resignation of the current top leaders.

He was accused alongside Wani Michael, Jame David Kolok, Rajaf Mohandis, Manase Mathiang, Daniel Makau, and Abraham Awolich, most of whom are members of civil society organizations.

However, he was released in December 2022 after the special high court in Juba dismissed all the charges against him and set him free.