Most South Sudan prison authorities still have the discretion to determine who should stay in prison and who should be freed, civilians equally have the powers to free individuals from police custody.
By Joe Kiarie
Is xenophobia taking its toll on the world’s newest state? Or is the seemingly extensive persecution of foreigners in South Sudan a mere symptom of an infant and highly impoverished nation struggling to start from the ruinous effects of a 21-year civil war?
“ Kenyans are bound to do well in business anywhere they go and being the leading investors in South Sudan, it is likely the locals have a phobia for outsiders they fear might exploit their opportunities and resources. This has attracted envy and negative feelings, especially when dealing with highly impoverished people,” he opines.
He notes that with glaring income inequalities having fueled insecurity; one is bound to attract enemies if he is doing well in South Sudan. He equates the suspicion to the one Tanzanians have towards Kenyans, but says strong authorities in Tanzania have helped contain the situation.
Dr Anangwe, a lecturer at the University of Dodoma in Tanzania, reveals that South Sudan citizens have particularly been taking advantage of a Government policy that requires locals to hold 20 per cent stake in every business in the country.
He says that to comply with the rules; most Kenyans usually bring onboard locals without even without having them inject any capital into the investments. “Once the business flourishes, most local partners use blackmail or even brute force to kick out the foreigners,” he explains.
Anangwe is nonetheless quick to note that the killings and harassment is not unique to Kenyans, with other foreigners and even locals suffering similar fate.
He explains that being a weak state in transition after prolonged warfare, the locals are capitalising on fragile State machinery to commit crimes with impunity.
“In many places, Government presence is absolutely low. The killings and anarchy is thus decentralised and systematic and characterises a weak state arena. Until the South Sudanese government is able to establish its authority, the killings will continue without much restraint,” he states.