Tuesday December 12, 2017

President Kiir releases 7 political prisoners to Kenya

NAIROBI – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardiit has today released the 7 political detainees he and his government promised to release to the custody of Kenyan government after more than month in detention. The seven freed detainees include:
1. Hon. John Luk Jok (former Minister of Justice)
2. Gen Madut Biar Yel (Former Minister of Telecommunication and Postal services)
3. Hon. Deng Alor Kuol (Former Minister of cabinet affairs
4. Eng. Chol Tong Mayai (Former Governor of Lake State)
5. Hon. Gier Chuang Aluong (Former Minister of Roads and Bridges)
6. Hon. Dr Cirino Hiteng (Former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports)
7. Hon. Kosti Manibe (Former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning)
The seven men were brought to Nairobi today via a charter flight arranged by the Kenyan President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta. All of them appeared in good health as they exchanged jokes with the president. Its not yet clear whether the men will be confined to the Kenyan capital only or be allowed to go elsewhere. President Kenyatta thanked the gesture made by his counterpart, Kiir saying its within the agreement and discussion made by IGAD countries last month. He however strongly urged Salva Kiir to release the other 4 remaining detainees still under custody, which the government there refused to release until fully investigated of any wrong doing in the alleged coup attempt. “I am pleased to announce that today, the President of South Sudan, His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, released to my custody seven of the 11 detainees previously held in his country, you can see them here behind me”, Kenyatta remarked. “However, some detainees remain in custody. As IGAD Heads of State and Government, we will continue our conversation about them with our brother, President Kiir”, Uhuru added.

Hon. John Luk, speaking as a leader of the released group thanked the effort made by the Kenyan government and IGAD countries. He emphasised that the group only feel sad about the ongoing turmoil in the country and asked IGAD to exert more and prevent the lost of lives. “We don’t feel bitter, we only feel sad that the crisis in our country is happening just after our independence. We don’t see our president as our enemy.” – John Luk said. South Sudan is engulfed in a brutal political war caused on Dec 15 by an inside fighting between Presidential Guards. Salva Kiir and the government termed it as a coup attempt by the former Vice President, Dr Riek Machar. A charge the former Vice president strongly denied. Western countries as well as African Union strongly dismissed any coup claims saying it was an administrative failure from the ruling party, the SPLM. more than 10,000 are reportedly dead so far with more than 800,000 displaced internally and across the borders. A ceasefire is currently in negotiation in Addis Ababa between the rebel forces and the government while a cessation of hostilities was signed last friday to provide a peaceful environment for complete ceasefire. Both sides are expected to go back to Addis on February 7 to continue deliberating on the IGAD sponsored talks.

The Upper Nile Times

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Filed in

Kenya, South Sudan step up campaign to build Eldoret-Juba Highway

7 SPLM political detainees flew to Addis Ababa to join peace talks

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