Home | News    Saturday 11 January 2014

S. Sudan’s Kiir defies global pressure to release political detainees

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January 10, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has defied mounting international pressure on him to unconditionally release political detainees who were arrested last month following an alleged coup attempt last month.

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A South Sudanese army soldier holding his weapons reacts to camera in a military barracks in Malakal town, December 30, 2013 (Ohoto Reuters/James Akena)

Martin Elia Lomuro, minister of cabinet affairs told reporters on Friday that Kiir has no problem with releasing the politicians so long as others could be held to "account for crimes committed as the result of the failed coup attempt is produced."

Rebels who are fighting the government are demanding that the political detainees be released before a ceasefire deal can be agreed upon.

"These people have causes to answer and now the international community wants them to be set free without due process. They will be released in accordance with the constitution and our laws", the minister said.

Kiir has accused his former deputy Riek Machar of staging an alleged coup but this has been strongly denied. At talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa a delegation from the rebel groups has insisted that the detainees be released prior to agreeing to cease hostilities.

However, according to mediators from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that detainees - all senior members of the ruling SPLM many of whom were sacked from senior positions last year - said that their release should should an obstacle to attempts to reach a ceasefire agreement.

IGAD mediators received the assurances from the detainees on a visit to Juba on January 8.

In spite of this the rebel delegation led by Taban Deng Gai - the former Governor of Unity state - have continued to insist upon their release.

On January 9, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on South Sudan crisis that political prisoners arrested in connection with the violence in Juba "must" be released to enhance the ongoing negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny, also confirmed that the political detainees would be released only after all the legal processes compatible with South Sudan’s transitional constitution and laws of the country are completed.

Ateny did not elaborate on the types of processes the government wants to be undertaken prior to releasing the political detainees.

A senior government official with close ties to president Kiir said on Friday that South Sudan would not accept to be blackmailed and scared by the threat of sanctions.

“South Sudan is an independent country. We expect members of the international community to show respect to its leaders, including President Salva Kiir. As the government, we do not reject advice and cooperation but that these relations should not be abused”, an official who did not want to be named told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Initially there were 13 detainees but Peter Adwok Nyaba and Deng Deng Akoon have already been released.

Those still is custody are:

  1. Deng Alor, former minister of cabinet affairs
  2. Pagan Amum, former SPLM secretary general
  3. Cirino Iteng, former minister of culture
  4. Madut Biar Yel, former minister for telecommunication and postal services
  5. Oyai Deng Ajak, former minister for national security in the office of the president
  6. Majak D’ Agoot, former deputy minister of defence
  7. Chol Tong Magay, former governor of Lakes state
  8. Ezekiel Gatkuoth Lul, former ambassador to the United States
  9. John Luk Jok, former justice minister
  10. Kosti Manibe, former minister of finance
  11. Gier Chuang Aluong, former minister of roads and bridges

(ST)

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  • 11 January 2014 05:34, by omoni jr.

    Mr. Insect, you will do it ,either you like it or not.your asshole will released them as soon as possible.

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    • 11 January 2014 05:37, by omoni jr.

      Taking Bentiu does not mean the war is stop, you ignorantly started someting that you will not finished.

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      • 11 January 2014 06:20, by Hardlinner

        Omoni you shouldn’t comment on this board given what the rebels have done to civilians properties, oil installation, medical warehouses. riek is only for destruction nothing else. we have seen the track of destruction left behind by rebels in bor, bentiu and malakal. i wonder why some reasonable nuer couldn’t follow riek. they new before hand that riek rebellion is for one thing, that is destructi

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    • 11 January 2014 07:31, by Amantiel Kem

      When did the president realize that the RSS has a constitution? Why does only use provisions in the constitution that favors him? Is it the same constitution he violated in Unity, Lakes and Jonglei states respectively that he wants to use? Those supporting him are insane

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  • 11 January 2014 05:35, by omoni jr.

    you will release as soon as possible mr. idiot president.

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    • 11 January 2014 06:51, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

      ST should be honest enough to describe pressure. It is "never global pressure," it’s global use of violence orchestrated by Dr. Fool Riek Machar to transfer power by force, using one tribe whom some of them came from Diaspora (USA, Canada, Australia and Europe) like Al-Qaeda operatives just to lose their lives for violently attempting to install Riek into power. What a farce?

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      • 11 January 2014 06:59, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

        Every sovereign country on this planet has its constitution. If President Salva Kiir Mayardit were Sadam Hussein, Kim Jong Un (who recently killed his uncle for treason in N. Korea) or Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, would these detained ex-ministers still be breathing fresh air today while the forces allied to the very leader they support have mercilessly destroyed Bor, Akobo, Malakal and Bentiu?

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        • 11 January 2014 07:06, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

          Why should every concerned country or individual wait and see how the legal procedure will be used against the detainees based on the level of participation or not? This’s not the time to talk about release but about investigation, possible prosecution and sentencing so that rallying tribal forces to be President of South Sudan come to an end.

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          • 11 January 2014 07:18, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

            We have many tribes in South Sudan keeping cattle but we would like to see how they perform or interact ethnically, politically, and socially with other tribes. Most Nuer, regardless of education, are making Nuer tribe top the list of "ethnic destruction index" (TDI)according to the survey conducted recently. All fingers point at the leader Riek Machar Teny and his associates since 1991.

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            • 11 January 2014 07:27, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

              Ethnic Destruction Index (EDI) not TDI. Riek knows perfectly well how political power can be democratically transferred; he even preaches democracy publicly but privately uses violence at the end of the day as a mechanism to assume power by force. If he couldn’t do it in Khartoum when he was there or in 1991, why would he think that he could succeed in the RSS?

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              • 11 January 2014 07:37, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                Which tribe in South Sudan has no record of being warriors? How and why did almost every tribe become warriors before and after colonial period? The Holy Bible in Isaiah 8:18 did not say Nuer are warriors and the word "tallest, dark skin people" is never limited to Nuer but all Nilotic. Before colonial period muscles were flexed in defense of a tribe, but things change later for defense of country

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                • 11 January 2014 07:47, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                  Dr. Fool Riek Machar is illusively educated but lives in the past, Stone Age era. His followers are competitively demonstrating their idiotic, devilish, absurd, primitive...., name the rest, please Kim Deng, Omoni Jr. Malakal County Girl, etc. Why is it difficult to transform from Stone Age thinking into modern intuition. Living in the Diaspora didn’t even change the mindset of most Nuer. Why?

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                  • 11 January 2014 07:56, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                    Why not other tribe? Alfred Ladu Gore of Bari/Juba Nabari said during election of Aril 2010 that "if he wins election, non-Bari should leave Juba." Popular opinion said No. No way. He lost to Clement Wani Konga. Ladu Gore is living in the past; he does not look, talk/walk politician. He lacks leadership qualities. He’s imitating Dr. Fool Riek Machar, hoping all Bari speakers would follow him.

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                    • 11 January 2014 08:04, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                      Alfred Ladu Gore lost election like his detained colleagues. Almost 90% of them lost election but insist on being ministers for life without thinking that they will be recycled tomorrow as was the case. This time things will be different. During the war Late Dr. John Garang’s warning proved prophetic that Sudan will never be the same again. Likewise, South Sudan will never be the same again.

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                      • 11 January 2014 08:11, by LabotoNyom KobiYe

                        To those who follow Dr. Fool Riek Machar Teny, remember that South Sudan will never be the same again in light of the recent failed coup attempt. Either your are with us or with Riek who will go tomorrow without political legacy in the history of South Sudan. Dr. John Garang forgave him; President Salva may forgive him but "history will never forgive Riek" for the past or another future EDI.

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  • 11 January 2014 06:04, by Gabriel KK

    As long as they are in prison, they will be held accountable for the killings and destructions of innocent civilians’ properties. I am suprise as to why Adwok Nyaba was released while others are still in detention. Adwok is currently inciting violence between Dinka and Nuer through his reckless writtings and should too be held accountable for killing or be subjected to criminal invastigations.

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    • 11 January 2014 06:39, by Hardlinner

      Gabriel kk, don’t worry only primitive will follow power greedy politicians. south sudan want democratic election not rebellion. we have now seen how rebels of destruction have destroyed the livelihood of civilians. no civilians have been spaired from this rebellion whether be dinka, nuer or other nationalities.

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      • 11 January 2014 07:03, by omoni jr.

        Hardliner.
        It is very shame you to talk about Reik machar politic and yet your Dinka militias murdered innocent Nuer civilians on day one,december 15 ,2013. And now you claimed that Reik is a problem to you. If Reik machar is a problem why did kill you Nuer innocent civilians in juba that spark that revenged and followed by rebellions in juba?? just answer this question.

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  • 11 January 2014 07:09, by Marco Bul

    If only the international pressure was not a copy and paste of Riek’s demand,I could have laughed at this primitive president.
    Most of the detainees are innocent.They have nothing to do with Riek.When are they going to be arraigned in court?? Release the rest.

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