Activist Samuel Garang Dut at the court premises on May 20, 2021. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]

Military Intelligence detain Aweil activist Samuel Garang in Juba

Northern Bahr el Ghazal State-based civil society activist Samuel Garang Dut has been detained by Military Intelligence Directorate in Juba over alleged links to General Paul Malong Awan, his family and friends said.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal State-based civil society activist Samuel Garang Dut has been detained by Military Intelligence Directorate in Juba over alleged links to General Paul Malong Awan, his family and friends said.

Garang’s spouse, Achol Athiang, told Radio Tamazuj Wednesday that her husband was arrested by Military Intelligence personnel in November last year at the Catholic University Campus in Juba in the evening.

According to Achol, Garang called a friend to pick him up from the university in a car and when they were driving off, soldiers in a pickup truck intercepted them and arrested the activist.  

“Garang called his colleague to pick him up from the university campus and take him home and when they were leaving, the military personnel said they wanted Samuel (Garang),” she said. “His friend asked the soldiers why they were arresting Garang and they told him to visit their office. When he got there, he was told that Garang has been in communication with Gen. Malong.”

Achol denies any link between her husband and Gen. Malong and called for the immediate release of her husband.

On his part, the executive director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani, said President Salva Kiir has made it clear that 2023 is a year of forgiveness and reconciliation among the South Sudanese.

“The president, the leader of the nation has extended a call that 2023 is a year of forgiveness and reconciliation,” he said. “If there are detainees at the National Security, Military Intelligence or police, they should be taken to court and tried or released because this is the president’s call.”

Garang was dragged to court on defamation charges by Northern Bahr el Ghazal State Governor Tong Akeen Ngor in April 2021 after a post on his Facebook page accusing and criticizing the governor of constructing a private house in Juba using pilfered public funds.

He also alleged that the governor sold huge quantities of cement, steel, and iron sheets meant for drainage networks within and outside Aweil town.

Garang was found guilty in June 2021 by the high court in Aweil town and served an eight-month sentence. He was also ordered to pay SSP 2 million as compensation to the state governor in the defamation case.