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President Kiir pardons 30 prisoners, including amid mired peace deal

South Sudan

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has pardoned thirty prisoners including political activist Peter Biar and Businessman Karbina Wol Agok as gesture towards peace and reconciliation, following the country’s implementing a fragile peace deal.

The presidential decree releasing the thirty convicts were announced on State based media on Thursday evening in the capital, Juba.

The decision followed the President’s visit to Juba central prison on Christmas Eve where he said inmates with minor cases would be pardoned and promised to release some inmates who had shown good conduct on the New Year’s Eve.

Among those freed are prominent political activist Peter Biar Ajak and philanthropist Kerbino Wol Agok.

On June 11, 2019, a court in Juba sentenced to jail, London based economist Peter Biar Ajak and businessman Kerbino Wol following accusations that they threatened the security of the state.

Activist Biar was sentenced to two years in prison, while businessman Wol got 10 years. Biar was initially detained by the National Security Service (NSS) in July 2018 while Wol was detained in April the same year.

Biar was accused of inciting violence and disturbing the peace, over interviews he gave the media during a stand-off between inmates and guards at the National Security Service headquarters on October 7 2018, while Wol was accused of masterminding subversive activities against the government.

The pairs were also charged with possession of firearms and sabotage among others.

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