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South Sudan armed opposition leader regrets deportation

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James Dak (C) with his boss Riek Machar (R) and current FVP Taban Deng Gai in Addis Ababa during the peace talks in 2014 (Dak's Facebook page)
November 4, 2016 (JUBA)- South Sudanese armed opposition leader and the former First Vice President Riek Machar has regretted a decision taken by the Kenyan government Kenya to deport his spokesperson James Gadet Dak.

A Kenyan official for the first time admitted that Dak was deported over a Facebook posting where he applauded a decision by United Nations chief firing a Kenyan general commanding the UN peacekeeping forces in South Sudan.

" (Dak) became an inadmissible person, so we cancelled his visa and he was taken to his country of origin," Kenyan government spokesman Eric Kiraithe told The Associated Press.

Machar, according to several armed opposition figures, who spoke to Sudan tribune on Friday, called the Deputy Kenyan President William Ruto by phone on Thursday to plead with him not to deport his spokesperson to Juba, “due to profound fear for his life.”

“This was unfortunate decision. All attempts were made at the highest level. Our chairman, Dr. Riek Machar himself reached out personally to top authorities in the Kenyan government. He spoke to officials at the ministry of foreign affairs. He spoke to Kenya ambassador in South Africa. He also spoke to Deputy President William Ruto appealing to him in person that Gatdet not be deported to Juba. Unfortunately all these efforts and appeals were ignored. It appears that the Kenyan government decided to take side and abandon their role in the peace process”, a high ranking armed opposition figure told Sudan Tribune when reached on Friday to comment on the matter.

He expressed fear that decision of the Kenyan government to deport SPLM-IO official from Nairobi could have an impact on the peace agreement, given that Kenya was one of the countries which played a key role in the negotiation of the peace agreement which Machar and President Salva Kiir signed last year.

While government supporters were jubilant and appears in celebratory mood, supporters and sympathizers of armed opposition reacted with fury to the news of Gatdet’s arrest and deportation.

SPLM-IO Youth League leader Puot Kang wrote, “The illegal kidnapping of James Gatdet will never and ever silence any SPLM-IO supporter instead it shall radicalize them”. He added Gatdet’s deportation “shall always define the relation between the two nations for the next century.”

Machar, reacting from South Africa, described Kenya as a guarantor to the peace agreement signed in August 2015 and “we do not expect that it would put in danger the life of an innocent person.”

James Dak, who studied in the United States of America returned to South Sudan after the 2005 peace agreement where he joined the office of Riek Machar as spokesperson of the Vice President of the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan.

After the eruption of South Sudanese crisis, he moved to Nairobi from where continued to exercise his duties as Machar spokesperson. After Machar return to Juba in April 2016 , he remained in Nairobi and didn’t return to Juba.

Kenya was seen as safe and secure country for opponents from different east African countries who reside there.

However, human rights activists and workers say Kenya has violated international law when it deported Dak who is a UN registered refugee.

By deporting Dak "Kenya has exposed him to a serious risk of persecution," said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch.

"Kenya is steadily shredding any of respect for its fundamental refugee protection obligations," Simpson further told The Associated Press..

South Sudan researcher at Amnesty International Elizabeth Deng pointed in a statement to The Associated Press. that "(Dak) is now at risk of arbitrary detention and torture" by the South Sudanese authorities

(ST)

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  • 5 November 01:20, by Akol Liai Mager

    I thought al-Bashir was going to deport Riek Machar to Juba, but when I reviewed Riek Machar saga of inappropriate introduction of al-Bashir by Ustaz Pagan Amum, I got convinced that al-Bashir and Riek are birds of the same feathers of old Sudan. Watch out on your own fade as the next six months are crucial for proper landmark line to run on. Somebody running away with no chaser anyway.

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    • 5 November 01:35, by NyanDengdit

      My friend Riek Machar is not alive I think you still behind the news.
      Where did you see Riek Machar? Give me the location of Riek Machar

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    • 5 November 01:40, by Joyuma John

      So many facts about James Gardet Dak are now surfacing, he was a refugee and also he was an American citizen, all these status should not allow Dak to play South sudanese politics as he ways does. Also IO should not also threaten Kenyans in their areas while majority of them are in Kenya as well. Dak wrote last week to capture Juba, well he is now in JUba with out use of force. Please face it.

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      • 5 November 06:41, by Freedom Fighter

        Mr. Dak Used to live in state of Minnesota of the USA, and did not have any education beyond high school. South Africans should also do right thing by deporting Riek machar to Juba if they are really for peace in South Sudan

        Freedom Fighter

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  • 5 November 04:14, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Here Kenya has lost morality and compassion to the rapist and murderers of the South Sudanese innocents in the country for the dollar. Where on earth can a decent country work against those who are being raped, murdered for their political views? Where in the world under the sky can the government that institutionalise corruption, nepotism and tribalism is supported? Where is Kenya we knew, Uhuru?

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  • 5 November 04:55, by Augustino

    American Citizen, A registered refugee and spokesperson of a rebel leader, now which status do you expect Kenyan to respect? Non, because Kenyan government is not supporting rebels nor it plays game in SS politics. so Gadet was about to capture Juba in a week, now he is there without a fight. Where is this force intended to capture Juba now? Lies have short legs, you should know that.

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  • 5 November 09:59, by Dengda

    I will point out two things
    1. Are borders secured before we show our muscle to our own innocents citizens and brutalised them day and night?
    2. Is Taban a leader of SPLM-IO after Riek ousted? If he does, what imitative did he take to reunited his faction? And if he believe he is a leader of the faction what action he took to safeguard the safety of deported official of his party James Gadet Dak?

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    • 5 November 10:07, by Dengda

      3. Will he Taban contest 2018 election against Kiir and represent SPLM-IO as per agreement?
      4. What show that, Taban is not rebel of the rebellion? His resentment of lost Petroleum position and Ezekiel Lol lack of portfolio are factor here.
      What I know Taban and Lol are the mastermind for deportation of James Gadet Dak, Kenya president visited South Sudan barely two months ago and plan well execut

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      • 5 November 10:11, by Dengda

        I am saying knowing that, I am Dinka, I blame many Nuer including Peter Gatdet who started the rebellion, after hearing of massacres of his people, Lul Ruai and many general who defected after peace was signed. Your voiced was heard by government international. You just surrender you achieved your goal, please refer to ACRSS docs. JCE and Kiir closes allies are celebrating you surrendering.

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        • 5 November 10:17, by Dengda

          I know James Gadet will not survives because he will not give in or give up or confess and this cause his life. Given unprofessional nature of NSS. But he is a leader and hero, I am Dinka and I mean I am typical Dinka who not happy the way or direction a country is going. One thing is wrong, calling movement for reform as unseated of Dinka is completely miscalculation and push away most Dinka

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          • 5 November 10:22, by Dengda

            James Gadet is victim because he shutdown Ateny Wek Ateny, he is leader by all characters and will dies hero like Dr John Garang. Those slaves have written their own history and their kids will consider as children of traitors or collaborators, no dignity to them. Riek, Wani and Kiir were our leaders, but I don’t consider them true leader who will prosper this nation. people like Gadet would.

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  • 5 November 10:46, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    I tell to Riek Machar, that , you are late to communicate about deportation of James Gatdet Dak.

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  • 5 November 11:30, by gakthon

    Garden Dak is a liar.he was deported to Juba to be taught how to say truth, his lies has a lot of impact on peace

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  • 5 November 11:31, by Kalo

    Bad news to SPLMio,it is good that he was not killed,it is normal life in any revolutionary,you lost the leader,lost very important person,therefore some one else can take the post but let him be very smart,R.Lul was one day military spokesman but defected to government,now Army spokesman,don,t be surprise seeing Gadet brain wash and join Government of Taban and Kiir.
    Son of Nuba

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    • 5 November 12:07, by Akook

      I think president Mugabe current chairman of AU can never be wrong about Kenyans and the way they run things.

      Mugabe steadfastly warned us (other Africans) to be extra careful dealing with Kenyans whom he describes as people with no moral values like Africans. They only can deal money, money and money by any means wrong or right until they die nothing else!

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      • 5 November 12:13, by Akook

        The angry high school like decision reached by Uhuru to hand over someone to his enemy is like eating a man’s raw meat and you don’t have to mind anyway if you are a Kenyan.
        It is equally reckless in a sense there are other even many high level Kenyans working with NGOs and businesses in Greater Upper Nile ( 1/3 of South Sudan) under rebel control.

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        • 5 November 12:18, by Akook

          I am wondering what, before a reasonable person let alone government takes such mindboggling decision to hand over someone to his enemy, think of their own in those vast territories control by the SPLM-IO? Let us hope the rotten regime in Juba won’t kill James Gatdet Dak anyway

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          • 5 November 14:19, by Dinka Aliap Chawul

            Nobody is going to kills but he will be punish by law taking all previous derogatory statements and incitement to violence as evidence to persecute him,so those who thinks that Taban will intervene are to know that this is a security matter.Mind that you’re calling Gen Taban all sort of such STD here for example, what goes around come around.

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  • 5 November 15:56, by South Sudan for all 64 tribes

    I think Kenya is the biggest loser here. Supporting an oppressive government is not tenable. We can use the Tanzania port and lose nothing by severing relationship with Kenya.Looking at the history of Kenya since its precolonial period however, I am not surprised as they have always sided with the oppressors. is good South Sudanese have known who are genuine peace guarantors and war profiteers.

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    • 5 November 20:22, by Lango2010

      Dogs barking and Camel walk any way. Kenya as nothing to loose here. because the did a good thing to us, and i hope South Africa must do the same.in that way rebellion will end in South Sudan and lasting peace will reign

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