Some authorities violate civic, political space- Yakani

Some authorities violate civic, political space- Yakani
CEPO’s Edmund Yakani in a recent press conference. [File photo]

The Executive Director of Community Empowerment Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani, warned of scale-up in cases of restrictions of civic and political space across the country.

Yakani made this statement after the political event organized by SSOA was cancelled on grounds that they failed to seek official approval of the event on the reception of Dr. Lam Akol—the Secretary General of SSOA and the Chairperson of National Democratic Movement [NDM] on Sunday.

According to a statement seen by The City Review yesterday, Yakani, said all directives of the government leaders touching open civic and political space are often undermined by some authorities.

“All the remarkable decisions of the government leaders in opening of civic and political space are always violated by some authorities and government institutions,” Yakani said.

“This is bad indicators towards the pathway for holding the looming national elections is going to meet the standards of being free, fair, credible and non-violent elections,” he added.

He said it is high time for South Sudan’s political leaders to nudge state authorities to refrain from restricting civic space and political space.

“It’s time for the top politician leaders of this country to direct state authorities at various capacities to really abstain form restricting civic and political space which some months back was improving when almost seven different political parties were able to open offices and held events without any restrictions,” he said.

However, he said the closure of SSOA event at Juba Basketball Stadium signified the swing of civil and political space restrictions in the coming 2024 elections.

“The closure of SSOA event at Juba Basketball Stadium has registered the new trend of restriction of civic and political space in the face of the looming national general elections in December 2024,” Yakani stressed.

On 22, October, 2022, President Kiir directed state governors, chief administrators of administrative areas, and county commissioners to observe opening of political and civic space for inclusive public participation. On 23, November, 2022, Kiir urged political leaders to embrace freedom of expression, assembly, association and media consultative dialogue.