South Sudan arrests government critic, wife says


Authorities in South Sudan have arrested a prominent economist and government critic, according to his wife.

Peter Biar Ajak was taken away by the National Security Service on Saturday, his wife Nyathon James Hoth says. The former World Bank economist has been highly critical of both the government and opposition groups over South Sudan’s civil conflict and drawn-out peace negotiations.

South Sudan arrests government critic

Nyathon James Hoth says her husband was taken away by officers from the National Security Service on Saturday without any reason given for his arrest. Speaking to Reuters, she said she hopes to meet with authorities and get an explanation for his detention.

When asked by reporters, Information Minister Michael Makuei offered no insights into the reason for Biar’s arrest.

“Whoever has been arrested, there must be a reason,” he told reporters. “I don’t know the reason for his arrest.”

Peter Biar Ajak is a country director for the London School of Economics’ International Growth Centre and a former World Bank economist. He was one of South Sudan’s “Lost Boys,” a group of roughly 40,000 children who were displaced or orphaned during the Sudanese civil war, which ended in 2005 and resulted in South Sudan’s independence.

He’s been involved in peace and reconciliation efforts in the country since its own civil war broke out and became the first South Sudanese citizen to study at Cambridge Universty.

Now he’s being detained in one of South Sudan’s most notorious prisons where detainees face starvation or death, according to the Associated Press.

Featured image: By Jason Patinkin (VOA) –, Public Domain,

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.