South Sudan human rights activists, have disregarded government decision on new coronavirus lockdown, labeling it “overdue reckless action and politically motivated action that jeopardized the peace agreement.
On Wednesday, South Sudan National Task Force issued an order number” statement, banned social gatherings, schools, religious events, political events, closure of business, limited more passengers in the bus, and restricted mandatory wearing of the facemask.
According to the letter circulated to the public, Vice president Hussein Abdelbagi, the National Taskforce chairperson on COVID-19, signed the document.
The public health laboratory [Ministry of Health] has confirmed 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, February 3rd. And the total cases of people affected with coronavirus reached over 4,000 since the pandemic began.
Activists challenge the government to put the country into partial lockdown for the second time without proper plans to ensure that people observe health measures. They say such raw decision had a political motive when the government of national unity is due to be formed at the states.
The executive director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, Edmund Yakani says the new lockdown means nothing but the strategy that will be complicated Revitalize agreement’s implementation.
“This lockdown has come in the unfortunate movement we supposed to have a proper acceleration of peace agreement. It is also a bit disturbing that the government has agreed that the first vice and other ministers from other parties should tour the country. However, they say these people cannot go because of the lockdown.”
Director of Okay Africa Wani Michael says that government restriction on COVID-19 has been careless of handling the pandemic with proper precaution measures in the public gathering.
Micahel blamed the government as a major violator of health prevention rules on many occasions, gathering people in the conference minus precaution.
“Is the government severe on the issue of COVID? You know, they have been very careless of handling COVID-19. So, what has change? Or the changes they will have for them to think of bringing in new restrictions? Wani said.
Wani further said new restriction sabotage the implementation process of the agreement, which the main public hope.
The Special Representative of the UN secretary general, David Shearer urges parties to accelerate peace deal implementation to enable free and fair elections.
In May last year, government lifted restriction and order for re-opening of schools, businesses, meetings, and public activities.