CEPO declares Kenya dangerous for human rights defenders

By Mary Poni

The Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani has declared Kenya as an unsafe place for human rights defenders.

Yakani’s pronouncement of Kenya’s endangerment to activists from South Sudan follows the arrest of Morris Mabior Awikjok, a South Sudan political and human rights truth teller in Nairobi Kenya.

 “CEPO fully identified Kenya as an unsafe location for South Sudan human rights defenders at risk in the region,” Yakani lamented.

He advised all human rights defenders at risk from South Sudan to avoid Kenya as an abode for safety, protection and security.

“This act of threatening South Sudanese activists in Kenya is taking worse and clearly demonstrates that Kenya is an unfit location for protection of human rights defenders who are in danger in South Sudan,” CEPO further stated in a press statement issued to the media yesterday.

He said it’s now for the third time that the Kenyan authorities are uncompromising with lives of human rights defenders from South Sudan.

Edmund added that it is undemocratic and a contradictory act to the image of Kenya which its leaders always demonstrated as an emerging democracy in the East Africa Region.

He said that the Kenyan authorities should show the world that they are not behind the kidnapping of Morris Mabior in Nairobi.

“The act of South Sudanese human rights defender at risk got kidnapped often is in total violation of the concept of East Africa community founding principles,” Yakani said.

“Integration of the region is inclusive for protection and promotion of human rights and human rights defenders,” Yakani, who is an activist himself added.

“Kenya authorities collaborating with actors that purposely like to take away life of human rights defender from South Sudan because of their strong opinion that may not be embraced by many actors in South Sudan is unacceptable. The Kenyan authorities should explain why they do such things under the founding principles of East Africa Community,” he continued.

Morris Mabior Awikjok whose whereabouts is not known currently, was seeking asylum in Nairobi, Kenya, since 2021 after he had fallen out with some government officials in South Sudan.

Edmund said that such practice totally undermines the stand of Kenya as a government in the region that respects human rights and protection of human rights defenders at risk from situations of armed conflict.

He urged the authorities, including Kenyan President William Ruto to provide accurate information on the safety and protection of kidnapped Morris Mabior.

The family of Morris Mabior also is calling for his immediate release after he was picked up last Saturday on 4th February, 2023 from his home in Nairobi by armed men in police uniform and taken to an unknown location.

According to media reports, his wife Angelina Aliet Marol, who was with her husband at the time of his arrest said that the armed men came into their house, ransacked it and allegedly seized their phones, laptops, and other valuables before handcuffing him.

Comments are closed.