More than 9 youths from Jonglei State were arrested in Juba by national security officials, their community leader told Radio Tamazuj on Monday, saying he didn’t know the reason for the arrests since the last two weeks.

Multiple sources say the arrested youths were deemed critical of Kiir’s administration. Government officials were unavailable for comment.

Deng Dau Deng, deputy chairperson of the greater Bor community, told Radio Tamazuj that he had received information that a number of Bor youths are being detained in unknown locations by national security officials in Juba.

“Yes, I was informed by members of the Bor community in Juba that some of their sons have been arrested by the national security while heading to Bor two weeks ago. Until now they don’t know their whereabouts,” Dau said.

Dau, who is also a lawmaker in Juba, said he talked to security agencies to allow families to see their detained sons wherever they are being held.

The influential community leader asked government’s spy agency known as National Security Services (NSS) to give the national dialogue process a chance instead of arresting people perceived to be critical of the government.

Garang Akok, a leader of the Jonglei community at Sherikat neighbourhood, confirmed that a number of Bor youths were detained by national security officials.

“There might be some reasons behind the arrest of some youths from greater Bor but until now none of the community leaders wants to talk about it,” he said.

A Bor youth, who preferred anonymity, said that more than 17 youths are currently under detention in Juba. He explained that 10 Bor youths were arrested on their way to Bor town over the past two weeks while seven others were picked up from their houses at Sherikat residential area.

He claimed that the national security’s list of the most wanted youths from greater Bor includes 90 individuals.

The national security law gives excessive powers to security forces, among others, arrest without a warrant, search suspected criminals and places, and seize property connected with crimes or offences against the state.

Radio Tamazuj