PRESS RELEASE: AFTABOSS Activists Condemn the Militarization of Social Media

THEME: DISARMING THE SOCIAL MEDIA ‘GUNMEN’

To All Media Houses, Social Media and the Public

By AFTABOSS Team

It has come to our dismay that Facebook, Twitter and Blogosphere, among other social media avenues, are invaded by active military personnel from both sides of the war in South Sudan. This new unfortunate development in the advent of peace is condemned forthwith.

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A death threat issued by one of the South Sudanese (Bor) youth leaders in Australia. Such individually or goup generated threats are reported daily by many South Sudanese journalists and activists.

In addition to the usual security operatives, active soldiers have opened Facebook pages and blog accounts and are physically threatening our fraternity with death and other adverse measures.

Among the victims of this this cyber terror meted out on our activists and other social media opinion leaders are our very own Aftaboss founder, John Penn de Ngong and John Aborcup. The duo with many others have complained of having received either anonymous Facebook messages, phone calls or even physical warning by many South Sudanese pro-government volunteers, security operatives and their own relatives.

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Another serious Facebook threat issued in October 2016 against John Penn and Gadafi Majok (as mentioned in detailed in other comments by the ‘poster’) by one SPLA 1st Lt. Biar Ayuen Aguek, who is based in the SPLA GHRs (Bilpam) in Juba. The post praises and acknowledges the soldier’s leader for giving them a permission to go ahead and kill them (activists, journalists, politicians, etc.) the Rwanda style!

Some of the incidences are shown in the screen shot pictures attached here. This adds to the trauma of the recent killings of their friends who were kidnapped from Kenya or Uganda and murdered in South Sudan in August.

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One of the daily threats that AFTABOSS is fighting as in this call to disarm the social media of such militants.

 

CONDEMNING THE DEATH OF AJOK GARANG AJOK

With profound regrets, AFTABOSS Internet’ional hereby condemns the mysterious death of one of their members who was killed last Sunday in the capital of Uganda.

On November 29, 2015, the South Sudanese social media activist was knocked down by a car in Kampala, Uganda. The body of the late Ajok Garang, a Masters’ student of Nkumba University, who hailed from Bor in Jonglei State, was dumped at Mulago Hospital by people referred to as the security personnel driving a car that belongs to Uganda president’s office. The car believed to have killed Ajok belongs to the State House, but was on a solitary mission, that is, was not part of the usual presidential motorcade that runs on a siren.

Therefore, AFTABOSS analysts believe that such a death could not be far from a foul play. We sincerely seek clarification from the Uganda government authorities, South Sudanese authorities and the deceased’s relatives and friends about the cause and the nature of the ‘accidents’:

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ANNOUNCING ‘PIECE-4-PEACE CHALLENGE’ FOR THE ‘NOBLE PIECE PRIZE’ FOR BLOG AUTHORS AND OTHERS

The serious writers of South Sudan, the journalists, the musicians, have to address the issues the politicians don’t care about. It is now our time to tell the world what it is that we want.” Taban lo Liyong, Interview, The New Nation, Newspaper, Juba, 2012.

Aftaboss BlogathonToday, 10-10-2014, upon the announcement of Malala Yousefzai and Satyarthi, the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, a world’s leading century-long award, and following the enactment into laws the Draconian National Security Bill and NGO Bill into law by South Sudan Parliament, and the sluggish ongoing South Sudan Peace Process in Ethiopia, we at AFTABOSS Internet’ional, USTASS and Master Text Collector, are also launching mini-competition for peace promoters.

This goes to all bloggers and social media personalities, we are running this challenge dubbed “Piece4Peace Challenge”. It is for writers (bloggers, journalists, Facebook bloggers, etc.) who have a piece of opinion/article on the ongoing peace process of South Sudan. The article must be between December 15, 2013 and November 15, 2014. Collection of articles will kick off on November 15, 2014 and will run through November 15, 2014.

Watch this space for more details about the Procedures of Connecting, Collecting and Correcting the articles by a special committee to be announced on November 15.

PEACE ‘BLOGATHON’: ANNOUNCING WRITING COMPETITION FOR PEACE TALKS IN ADDIS ABABA

Today, May 3, 2014, does not only mark the first anniversary of our ‘Blogathon Concept’ but is a World Press Freedom Day! At AFTABOSS, we attribute it to our bloggers as ‘WordPress Freedom Day’. Are you free?

Addis UpdatesIf not, then join us at the “AFTABOSS Bloggers’ Campaign” dubbed “Peace Blogathon”, a weekly marathon of opinions on topical issues about the ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Aftaboss is glad to announce to all its members and peacemakers that as a result of our partnership with the Coalition of Young Leaders of South Sudan, we have a presence at the peace venue in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Therefore, our proximity to the talks makes us quasi participants in such a way that we shall be getting first hand updates and debating issues from the roundtable weekly.

To participate, please, follow these guidelines:

10299955_10202473002720265_4420228214090629701_nGUIDELINES FOR “BLOGATHON PARTICIPATION AND COMPETITION”

1-  Be a member of our social media groupings:

a- Enter your e-mail address to join our Aftaboss community for e-mail post updates on this blog:

b- Be our member on our Aftaboss Facebook Group (closed group) here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/413209488738387/

c-  Like our partner Facebook Page: ADDIS UPDATES linked here: https://www.facebook.com/cylsouthsudan

2- Write objectively but not necessarily neutrally.

3- Keep your response according to the topic and specifications (scope)

4- Send your story to aftabossteam@gmail.com and post the title or a paragraph on our Aftaboss Facebook Group and our partner’s Facebook page at ‘Addis Updates’.

5- The winning blog of the week will be published on all our over 60 blogs and other main media outlets. By the end of the peace talks here, the overall blogger will be invited to the signing ceremony and given a “Peace Blogger of the Year” award in the ceremony.

6- Weekly blogathon winners will get an award of a ‘fully designed’ weblog in addition to his or her story being entered into the final draw for the “Peace Blogger of the Year” award.

7- Read more about the benefits of blogging with us on other pages of this blog:

https://aftaboss.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/launching-of-aftaboss-internetional-organization-and-weblog-on-world-press-freedom-day-2013/

https://aftaboss.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/launching-of-aftaboss-internetional/

https://aftaboss.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/hello-world/

https://aftaboss.wordpress.com/aftablogs/

https://aftaboss.wordpress.com/membership/

 

 

 

SOUTH SUDAN MARKS HUMAN RIGHTS DAY BY ARRESTING A FACEBOOKER…!

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December 10, 2013

 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN           

RE: AFTABOSS INTERNET’IONAL CONDEMNS SOUTH SUDAN AUTHORITIES FOR MARKING HUMAN RIGHTS DAY WITH THE ARREST AND TORTURE OF A FACEBOOK BLOGGER

Today, December 10, 2013 is an International Human Rights Day, running on its 20th anniversary theme, 20 YEARS: WORKING FOR YOUR RIGHTS. However, this is not the case today with the nascent Republic of South Sudan, a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a member of the United Nations and other international and regional groupings. Today, as we are writing this petition, a newspaper editor and a Facebook blogger are behind doors, arrested on the same day.

With deep regret for the abuse of individual rights by the Government of South Sudan and with sincere solidarity for our free citizens and netizens, we, members of the Association of Facebookers, Tweeters and Bloggers of South Sudan (Aftaboss Internet’ional) hereby condemn the action taken by the legal authorities in Juba and Bor, Jonglei State, against their own laws.

Having said that, Joshua Chol Deng (‘Chol Joshua’ on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chol.d.chol.1?fref=ts ) has spent the last few weeks in intense fear and pain. He is being switched between Bor and Juba by his county leaders; one a state minister in Jonglei and the other a chairperson of a commission in Juba, whom he criticized on Facebook for failing to protect his community from tribal massacres and other development challenges.

The comment he made could not be retrieved for this purpose after he was forced to delete it and write an official apology, which was in turn used as an evidence against him later. This morning, at 9 o’clock, Chol arrived from Bor and went straight to the police station where he is being kept there indefinitely. By the time Aftaboss Chief Moderator telephoned him, he had spent 7 hours without anybody visiting him, and may remain there for the night or so.

“In Bor prison, I spent 36 hours there serving the time of the big man, who is a minister in Jonglei. This morning the one in Juba ordered that I be brought here for his turn on me,” Chol said on phone while in his prison cell in Juba.  His plight to merge the case to one place since it was an offence on one Facebook comment fell on death ears as he is being shared to serve justice between the two leaders in between the two cities.

While on his way from Juba to Bor two weeks ago, he said he was detained before reaching Bor and beaten up by soldiers, only to be released in the morning without charges except that he travelled late on an insecure road.

“To add salt on the injury the military guys detained us at 6:50 in Bangachorot not proceed to Bor in claims of insecurity in Jonglei. One of these military personnel had me caned with 30 lashes after we exchanged some unpleasantries, after which he interrogated me and found out that I was an Aulian,” Chol narrated on his Facebook status dated November 20, 2013 (See the post and others below).

AFTABOSS is hereby condemning the way our fellow blogger is being tormented both physically and psychologically without the right course of the law. Article 26 of the Interim Constitution of South Sudan entitles every citizens freedom of speech and expression, but this article is being violated by the way a Facebook comment is being handled against the life of a citizen who is doing his duties to the nation.

We again call upon the Minister for Justice and the relevant institutions of the Republic of South Sudan to intervene and release Joshua Chol Deng or give him speedier court process as soon as possible. It is not legally sound to subject an accused to double court case on the same offence. The offence was committed on Facebook, not in Jonglei or Juba, so he should be tried for this one offence (if any) in one location. The fact that the complainants are working in different locations does not warrant the accused to be ‘served’ to them at will in violation of the laws of this country.

Please, release Chol Deng or take him through one court procedure to avoid these leaders taking the law into their own hand and revenge on a person who has the constitutional right to criticize them as leaders over his community.

Signed:

John Penn de Ngong,

Chief Moderator,

AFTABOSS International.

www.aftaboss.wordpress.com

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Mr. Minister why are you hunting me with two cars loaded with over Ten CID police with their guns like I have killed some? Just wait for me in Bor I will be there next tomorrow and note that I’m not a criminal, we have a lot of thugs in Jonglei state to hunt with those policemen and that government fuel.
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How hectic it is to travel on Jonglei roads now days. We spent 11 hours in a land cruiser driving from Juba to Bor and still sleep without reaching.
To add salt on the injury the military guys detained us at 6:50 in Bangachorot not proceed to Bor in claims of insecurity in Jonglei.
One of these military personnel had me caned with 30 lashes after we exchanged some unpleasantries, after which he …interrogated and found out that I was an Aulian.
This guy is called Akech Manyok The interview was as follow.
Akech:    You will not proceed a head because it is becoming dark.
Me:       we know sir it is becoming dark but let us pass because we are already within and we tired and hungry
Akech:    call anyone you know in Bor so that he takes responsibility of your lives so that we are not blamed should anything happen
We called one of the officers of National security and after that, Akech dismissed the whole conversation and asked us, “If you are killed on the way who will be responsible?”
Me:    Akech, what you are saying is not right no one is responsible for our lives except God, this road is insecure starting all the way from Juba to here and even then if anything get us here who will be responsible”
Akech:   ya Jesh, tali shilu zol de (meaning, soldiers, come and take this man away). I was marched to office and statement was recorded and after that Akech asked these questions:
Akech:    what is your name?
Me:     Chol Deng.
Akech:     from which section?
Me:           Twic
Akech:      I know but which part of Twic
Me:           Aulian
Akech:      which part of Aulian
Me:           Pan-Akech
Akech:     so do you think you are talking in forum of Pan-Akech? He shouted to some soldiers, “Give him 30 canes
!”
After I was caned 30 lashes, I appealed for having been a victim of tribalism and I accused this culprit having caned me intentionally because he might be having problem with our clan and the same guy ordered me to be thrown into the cell until the following day.
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The Extortion game is on the verge of collapse as the two bulls, Mayardit and Machardit, are thudding the ground Keeping secrets and making a decision are what make man a man. Someone who does not keep secrets always betray himself and his family. To be a leader patience and secrets keeping play a very important role in one’s life. Even Jesus who controls the universe did not reveal the end time yet… he knew he cannot lie as he is entitled to his father’s throne, but still he kept low profile. Our country is going through a tough transition that will reform it forever, but still there are some of the people who will want to set their sights to scary cracks that they see through the wall of unity meant to protect all South Sudanese. Why have we forgotten that we fought solidly to unbind this country from the bondage that shaped it negatively for centuries? I don’t agree with anyone who thinks his uncles or his community alone fought for independence especially in the last stage. There are political dwarfs who went to schools and they even went to platforms to solve national issues, but still they didn’t believe in what they were doing rather than waving their tribal cards at the very people they could serve and protect when they desperately needed helps. Others try to hide behind their tribes and spoil national course at their tribal expenses only to regret latter on. The road that our president chose is a tough one, that’s playing aces with his comrades, is probably a difficult game to win. I suppose that he had no any other choice than what he did. To be honored comes once in a life time and this involve self-sacrificial and avoiding bad friends who always ask like Mr. Hyena “is there anything to eat?” This is the right time for Mayardit to rest the government on the capable arms and prepare the road for the coming generations. Some of the big mouthed were used to getting things done for them quickly by extorting the then 1st VP or else they would sabotage the referendum process for self-determination which was prioritized at the time, and poor Kiir was forced to learn how to live between the fire hydrants and the dogs worrying about crossing the river with people. His very comrades extorted him by either milking the cow or kill her (RSS) which was in then making. Coming out with the arrears of “foot injuries” that his comrades let him knocked his feet against some stones on the road to “Camp South Sudan” such as being branded as the diver of the most failed state, and the corrupt boy by the big boys like the US and the UK mention them, Kiir shot to the toughest boy in the land overnight and I think the corrupt ones will tremble and collapse in fear of the boomerang of the sticks that they were swirling intentionally to hit Kiir on the head. There is a huge transaction of knowledge taking place across South Sudan communities and from outside countries to South Sudan. South Sudanese are getting to know everything starting from simple ways of life to politics, no any politician will ever cheat all of them again in the name of the tribes like they did in the past, and I bet some of our politicians will end up carrying their victim cards without anyone to aid them in carrying it. Our people have seen a lot and they have learnt many things, everyone was expecting chaotic shockwaves to be transmitted throughout the country prior to the show down between the two bulls (Mayaardit and Machardit) that tossed each of the Ministers against the rocks at one blow. Negative who told you that our people are not getting better? Nothing happened, let’s hope for the best and see what God has in the store for us. I want to suggest to my fellow countrymen that we don’t benefit from politicians for the sake of supporting because they come from our tribes, If I benefit from my brother at the family level other than at a national level it means we are making a load transfer to ourselves because everyone will hate us and the national agenda will have lagged behind if everyone start doing that. The simple analogy is I came from the same place with the Late Dr. Garang in fact his father’s Luak and my Grandfather’s were divided by the cattle pathway, that means the two luaks were opposite to each other in our village, but does that make me a special man in anyway? No I don’t think so, I benefited from his ideas and the project of freedom he followed for so long and in the end took his life to the alter because of me. This means I and others are free now because of Dr. Garang. I apologize to any reader who will be bored by  grammatical errors since this is my first article to post here. This author can be reached at choljoshua@yahoo.comSee More

Association of Facebookers, Tweeters And Bloggers of South Sudan (AFTABOSS) is a venue and an avenue for mobilizing a marathon of ideas and ideals into a blogathon by ( of, for and from) internet-based South Sudanese socialites all over the world (Internet-ionally)! We've just realized that we are running our activism for peace in pieces and unity in units with unrefined views and undefined objectives. Welcome aboard our boat to contribute in instilling knowledge and distilling wisdom into our world-wide web or 'wild wild west' (www.com) generation!