National, News, Politics

Government Accuses Biar of Working for Regime Change

Presidential Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny, giving press statement at the Office of the President in response to the allegation by Activist Peter Biar Ajak about his asylum in the US, (Photo by Ochaya Jackson)

By Ochaya Jackson

The Government of South Sudan through Office of the President has on Friday said that Activist Peter Biar Ajak is attempting to depose the regime using unconstitutional means. Biar lately fled to United States after the US State Department granted him humanitarian visas on the ground that his life was in danger in which upon his arrival in Washington DC, he said President Kiir sent hit squad to assassinate him or be abducted in Nairobi – Kenya where he was staying.

But, Presidential Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny, in a press conference held in Juba on Friday 7th August 2020 at the office of the President in what he called “response to false allegations by Ajak, asserted that he [Peter Biar] has wide connections that he is shockingly misleading on the affairs of South Sudan.

“The sole objective of his recent outburst is well understood as a ploy to use sensational jail stories to mobilize external and internal sympathies, eventually inciting the South Sudanese public against individual leaders, and endeavoring to unseat the regime through undemocratic means”, Ateny proclaimed while being flanged by Paul Ongee Chief Administrator in the office of the President, and James Deng Wol who is Executive Director in President’s Office.

“Before his arrest in 2018, Peter frequently spoke to the local and international media about South Sudan’s affairs, expressing what many consider dangerous ideas, including making several bold calls for regime change in a manner that mimics the Arabic Spring. He is also an advocate of an impractical agenda known to him as the “Generational Exit”, a codename for youth mobilization against the older generations who currently run the R-TGoNU of South Sudan”, he added.

Human Rights Activist Peter Biar was detained in 2018 at National Security facility and in 2019 was sentenced to two years in prison under section 48 and 80 of the Penal Code Act, 2008 after they staged protest within Security premises denouncing arbitrary detention without trial. The sentence was categorized as intent to promote public violence and breach of peace. He was sentenced together with late Kerbino Wol Agok who was killed earlier this year after he formed 7th October Movement.

The two were pardoned in January after President Kiir invoked Article 101 (h) in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan which gives him prerogative to do so when deemed necessary.

Activist Peter Biar, according to Ateny, was a consultant for National Security Service (NSS) when Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak was heading the security institution; as such he was one of the brains behind the national security law and regulations in which he contributed in drafting the NSS policy, after he left working with the World Bank in South Sudan and Ateny claimed he was using the task to spy on the government.

“Peter, among others, was earlier tasked with formulating the NSS Policy/White Paper around the time he was contracted by NSS, [he] also involved in other activities, including consulting for various non-governmental organizations to advance his political agenda. Records show that [he] used these consultancies to spy on the government” Press Secretary Ateny claimed, adding “continuing his constancy work Peter signed a contract for Independent Service in early 2018 with a Berlin based organization agency, his undertakings with this agency raised suspicion and a warrant was issued for his immediate arrest. The authorities confiscated [his] electronic devices for forensic analysis. Materials extracted from his computer using a forensic technology and corroborated using online data confirmed that he was engaged in intelligence gathering, spying on military, intelligence agencies and active government officials, as well as colluding with violent oppositions”.

He further pointed that “email exchanges between and the said agency’s staff underline that the scheme to achieve targeted sanctions was twofold; [one] mount external pressure, including withdrawing humanitarian aid from South Sudan in order to gain leverage over the regime, and [two] build internal pressure through a united civil society front”, Ateny underscored while not mentioning the agency saying because of legal ground.

Ajak who moved to United States as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan in 2001 was also accused by the government of using old strategy that landed him in to prison, and cooking up story as a smear campaign.

“The relevance of this to his current maneuvers leaves little room for any doubt. It can logically be concluded that Peter is still in pursuit of his regime change agenda by using the same old tactics that previously got him in trouble with the security and the law enforcement agencies. A careful scrutiny leads to a conclusion that [he] made up this story, manifestly advancing a smear campaign”, Ateny wek explained.

And Peter seems to have reasons for fleeing to the US primarily associated with Late Kerbino Wol Agok. He probably hears the state authorities would monitor or investigate him for a potential involvement in the just foiled insurgency. Second, Peter lost his residency status following a long absence from the US, according to a 17 page booklet containing Activist Biar’s case details released by the Office of the President on Friday also.

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