JUBA, OCTOBER 27, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) on Friday refused to allow a press conference meant to appeal to the public to locate a missing civil society activist.
The Executive Director of Junubin Chronicles Biar Ajak Marol disappeared under unclear circumstances on October 4 in the capital Juba with his car being found parked near the newly constructed Freedom Bridge along the river Nile.
Speaking to Sudans Post this evening, Jacob Bil Kur, co-founder and program manager at the Junubin Chronicle, said the intention for the press conference was for the organization to appeal to the general public for help in locating Biar.
“We were very clear with the reason for having the press conference: We were in need. We wanted to appeal to the public in general if anyone would come up with an idea or information about Biar’s disappearance we wanted to appeal for help,” Bill said.
“It was Wednesday, 4th of October. He is my colleague we are working together and at the same time we live together. He was supposed to go to work with one of my colleagues, he came to my room and requested for some keys, and I gave him, and I didn’t see him leaving because I was in my room,” he added.
Bil said Biar’s car was later found parked few meters away from the new Freedom Bridge and noted that his organization gave early notification to the national security informing them about their press conferences.
“It’s not clear because I personally wrote a letter to them last week or almost a week now they are having the letter, we thought it was a normal thing whereby the chief of political affairs was supposed to do the approval but instead he forwarded the letter to the headquarters,” he said
Bil said he was then called this afternoon by the National Security Service to be informed that the conduct of the press conference had been rejected.
“Today when they called me, I went to their office, and I was told that the letter has been rejected and I was asking what the reason and they might be didn’t give me the letter [about the rejection] since the letter is coming from the headquarters to their office I was not given and he (the NSS officer) was reading it while holding it,” he said.
“The reason given to me was that [the rejection is on] ‘security grounds’ [and] he could not explain further this ‘security grounds’ because it might mean a lot of things and the guy was like ‘this is what I can show and this is what I can tell you,’” he added.
Bil further appealed to the general public and security operators to locate the whereabout Biar’s whereabouts.
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