Wednesday December 13, 2017

Kenyan pilot held by South Sudan rebels in Jonglei State released

Kenyan plane landing in Jonglei South Sudan FILE PHOTO

JUBA – The Kenyan pilot who was last month held by the rebels belonging to Dr Riek Machar was yesterday released and taken to the custody of the Kenyan ambassador to South Sudan in Juba.

The pilot and his plane were set free by rebels after a lengthy discussion by the Kenyan government and the rebels administration on the sidelines of the recent IGAD summit in Addis Ababa. Kenyan Vice President, H.E William Ruto demanded specifically for the pilot to be released asking rebel leader and the chairman of the SPLM in Opposition to intervene and to allow the release of the pilot and his plane.

Ruto told Machar in Addis Ababa that the pilot only went to the rebels held area to deliver food items to civilians.

Rebels leadership in Jonglei believed that the pilot was just on a mission to kill high ranking leaders of the group since there was no enough food items inside the plane apart from the ammunitions they found. They accused the government of Juba of setting the plane to go rebels area to assassinate its high ranking members. a charge the government in Juba strongly denied.

According to the Kenyan high commission in Juba, the pilot will be flown to Kenya on Thursday.

 

The Upper Nile Times

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