Satellite imagery shows the Blue House (upper right), the headquarters of South Sudan's National Security Service

Satellite imagery shows the Blue House (upper right), the headquarters of South Sudan's National Security Service. In the lower left of the image is the compound's detention site (© 2020 Maxar Technologies. Source: Google Earth)


By Zechariah makuach maror

The disappearance of Michael Wetnhialic, a prominent South Sudanese social and human rights activist, on 24th April in Juba, South Sudan, has sparked widespread concern and outrage. Wetnhialic was allegedly kidnapped by a group of men believed to be National Security officers after attending a social gathering in the house of a certain military officer who had invited him to his house on that particular day. It is reported that he was taken to the notorious Blue House where he was tortured and is still being detained for officially undisclosed reasons. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance and detention are deeply troubling, and there are serious questions about the violation of his human rights and the suppression of his activism.

It was reported that on that very day, Michael Wetnhialic was invited to a house of a certain military officer for a dinner party, where he was abducted by a group of men in two black, unnumbered Noah cars thought to be National Security agents. The source to this publication stated that Michael Wetnhialic was arrested and taken straight to the infamous National Security detention facility known as Blue House, where he was horribly tortured. Michael Wetnhialic was enticed to that dinner party on the evening of April 24, where he was mysteriously kidnapped and remains detained to this day.

Michael is being held by the National Security Director General as vengeance for not honouring their reconciliation deal, which was mediated by some of his close aides two years ago, according to the revelation that came to light following his abduction. He was detained in the Blue House by the same people who were investigating him for some recent alleged secret meetings he held. The interrogators have been questioning him about the specifics of his alleged secret meetings, which included meetings with the President of the Republic, H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, and some individuals who are thought to be the President's closest aides deemed political dissidents of Gen. Akol Koor, the director general of SSNS. 

 In addition, Michael Wetnhialic is under arrest on charges of spying and sharing sensitive information in a WhatsApp group chat. Warrap State Governor Hon. Kuol Muor, Tonj Community Leader Lewis Anei Madut Kuendit, NS Security Officer Kuot Garang, several Tonj elders, and Army generals are few among the people who banded together with Gen. Akol Koor Kuch in this case. The objective is to silence Michael Wetnhialic completely.

Michael Wetnhialic has been a vocal advocate for social justice and human rights in South Sudan, often speaking out against corruption, government repression, and violence. His work has made him a target of the authorities, who have repeatedly harassed and threatened him in the past. The fact that he has now been subjected to enforced disappearance and torture is a clear indication of the lengths to which some government officials are willing to go to silence dissent and intimidate activists.

The impact of Wetnhialic's disappearance on the human rights and social activism community in South Sudan cannot be understated. His work has inspired many others to speak out against injustice and contribute to positive change in the country. The fact that he has now been forcibly removed from public life sends a chilling message to others who may be considering following in his footsteps. It is a stark reminder of the dangers faced by those who dare to challenge the status quo and demand accountability from those in power.

The individuals responsible for Wetnhialic's disappearance and detention must be held accountable for their actions. The National Security Director General and others involved in his arrest and torture must be brought to justice and face consequences for their blatant disregard for human rights and the rule of law, if at all the government is for all South Sudanese. The international community, including human rights organizations and foreign governments, must condemn not only this action in the strongest terms, but exert pressure on the South Sudanese government to release Wetnhialic immediately and ensure his safety.

In analysing the perspectives on Wetnhialic's case, it is important to consider both the positive and negative aspects. On one hand, his disappearance has shed light on the ongoing human rights abuses and repression in South Sudan, serving as a wake-up call for the international community to pay closer attention to the situation in the country. It has also galvanized support for his cause and inspired others to continue fighting for justice in his absence.

On the other hand, the continued detention of Wetnhialic and the lack of transparency surrounding his case raise serious concerns about the state of human rights and the rule of law in South Sudan. The government's failure to provide any information about his whereabouts or well-being is a clear violation of his rights and a sign of its unwillingness to adhere to international norms and standards. This bodes poorly for the future of democracy and freedom of expression in the country, as activists like Wetnhialic, Kalisto Wani, Moris Mabior Awikjok and many more are increasingly targeted and silenced.

In conclusion, the disappearance of Michael Wetnhialic is a troubling development that highlights the challenges faced by human rights activists and social justice advocates in South Sudan. The circumstances surrounding his case raise serious questions about the government's commitment to upholding human rights and the rule of law. It is imperative that the international community takes action to demand his release and hold those responsible for his disappearance accountable. Only then can there be hope for democracy,  justice and accountability in South Sudan.

The writer is an activist and could be reached via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.