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South Sudan Opposition Politician Disappears

South Sudan opposition politician Peter Mayen Majongdit has not been seen since he was taken from his home in Juba on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, members of his party say.

The head of a South Sudanese opposition political party was taken from his home by unidentified men two days ago and has not been seen since, members of his People's Liberal Party said Friday.

Peter Mayen Majongdit disappeared days after he published a statement in the Juba Monitor newspaper, challenging the government to recover $4 billion that were allegedly stolen by senior politicians. Mayen, who is the interim chairman fo the People's Liberal Party, said in the statement that the administration of President Salva Kiir should focus on recovering the missing funds rather than seeking loans from other countries.

South Sudan’s parliament last week authorized the Minister of Finance to negotiate a loan worth $500 million dollars with Qatar National Bank. South Sudan says the funds are needed to close a budget gap created by the falling price of crude oil and a steep decline in domestic oil production caused by nearly 16 months of domestic conflict. The World Bank says South Sudan has the most oil-dependent economy in the world.

The head of the Youth League of the People's Liberal Party, Mijok Lang Mijak, said Mayen had been threatened before he disappeared. Lang said Mayen's wife called him after the Juba Monitor published his statement and told him not to go home because "there were some officials at home... and they were asking for Mayen.”

Other party officials, including the secretary general, have received threatening phone calls and have gone into hiding since Mayen disappeared, Lang said. Mayen's family has left their home, he said.

The People’s Liberal Party was launched in February.

The government declined to comment on Mayen's disappearance.