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South Sudanese rebels vow not to release prisoners of war

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September 24, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan rebels allied to the country’s ex-First Vice President, Riek Machar have confirmed the capture of 14 government officials, but vowed not to release them.

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Rebel fighters aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar march through a village inside rebel-controlled territory in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on 9 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

A spokesperson for the rebel group, in a statement, claimed the captives were a security threat and will be treated as war criminals.

Col. Paul Lam Gabriel said their forces remain in full control of Akobo county and its surrounding areas, adding that their forces remained on high alert in the wake of Saturday’s attack by government forces.

“Akobo is under the control of SPLA-IO [Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition] not the Juba regime and, so any government agent sent by [President] Kiir elements is considered an enemy and will be dealt with according to rules and regulations of the SPLA-IO,” he said.

The South Sudanese government on Saturday called for the “unconditional” release of 14 officials captured by rebels on Wednesday near its border with Ethiopia.

Dickson Gatluak, a military spokesman for the armed opposition faction loyal to the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, said armed youth linked to exiled rebel leader, Riek Machar detained at least 14 members of the peace delegation in Akobo county, Bieh state.

"SPLA-IO is calling for the unconditional release of 14 members of peace mission delegates who went to Akobo purposely to embrace and disseminate peace messages," Gatluak said in a statement.

"These persons are not for military mission but civil administrators who are there on the ground for peace," he added.

Among those held captive, he said, is the commissioner of Akobo county, Tut Chai Riek, stressing that all the detainees’ are civilians.

The South Sudanese civil war, now in its fourth year, has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions since its eruption in 2013. But a peace agreement signed in August 2015 between the country’s warring parties led to the formation of the coalition government.

(ST)

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  • 25 September 10:38, by lou nuer

    Dickson
    Please just eat your bread and sleep with your dad Taban Deng instead of barking to release money lover like you. Let them face what they go for. Which IO are you calling yourselves? Stupid demand of release.

    Lou Nuer

    repondre message

  • 25 September 10:43, by Kush Natives

    Now needs random to released civilians? Keep them till we come over! Those bandits are become really somalian pirates who stop every ships that traveling in the ocean and demand ransom from which the ships belong. Terrorist always have a backward rules. You (rebels) will give you 2 options, released them or we will release them!

    repondre message

    • 25 September 15:40, by Free at Last Viva!

      Kush Natives,

      How do you compare SPLA/M-IO who have a vision and a mission for this country with Somalis pirates who are just there robe? You are insane just like what your failed government is doing in Juba. How could the government send peace delegate to a rebel controlled area without first reaching agreement with them? Juba is really a government of fools.

      repondre message

    • 26 September 05:08, by Malakal county Simon

      Kush/slave

      You talk like you can fight without Nuerwew/UPDF right???? Well, we accept your second option. Come and release them at your own risk!!!!

      repondre message

  • 25 September 13:44, by Kwacha Okonyomoi

    We will release them by force whether rebels like it or not.

    repondre message

    • 25 September 20:51, by jubaone

      Kwacha,
      Then get your jienge courage together and go release these war criminals. Release Gatdet, Dong and Idri and you get your criminals unharmed. Simple 😎

      repondre message

  • 25 September 13:44, by Kwacha Okonyomoi

    We will release them by force whether rebels like it or not.

    repondre message

    • 25 September 15:42, by Free at Last Viva!

      Go and release them.

      repondre message

  • 25 September 15:32, by lou nuer

    To Kush and Kwacha
    My dear friends you’re dream of their release by force. It can not and will never happen that you will release them by force. They must be investigated of their interfering of Akobo activities which they were not involve to do. Peace for what?? do your peace in Juba with Dinka and Nuer wew don’t attempt to Lou Nuer land or promise land. Torturing them properly they will learnt.

    repondre message

  • 29 September 21:44, by Nigany

    Juba will learn tit-for-tat this days. they shouldn,t be making unnecessary noise when they were the very ruthless and remorseless regime which arrested JAMES GATDET even on humanitarian ground in kenya and detain him and whereabout is out of question. release him and your thugs will be pardon by the democratic movement.

    repondre message

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