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S. Sudan political leaders call for rebel leader’s "immediate" release


December 24, 2017 (JUBA)- An alliance of more than seven South Sudanese political leaders has called for an immediate release of the leader of the main rebel group in the country, Riek Machar,

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South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a news conference in Uganda’s capital Kampala January 26, 2016 (Reuters photo)

The group, in a letter to the Ethiopian prime minister, protested the prolonged detention of the armed opposition leader in South Africa as he was expected to attend and participate in the revitalization forum but could not be permitted.

The letter entitled "Appeal for the immediate release of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, chairman of the SPLM/A-IO," is addressed to Ethiopia’s prime minister, who is also the chairman of the regional bloc (IGAD) assembly heads of state and government.

“Your excellency, one key stakeholder, Dr.Machar, who ought to have been here with us in Addis Ababa for the forum, regrettably, he is confined to South Africa against his will for almost one year and a half years without charges”, the letter seen by the Sudan Tribune reads in part.

It argued that the detention of Machar represents violation of fundamental rights and freedoms and expressed belief that such act would set a worrying precedent in Africa.

“Your Excellency, it is our firm belief that the confinement of Dr. Machar is a violation of fundamental rights and freedoms and sets a worrying precedent in Africa, in which any country can simply decide to persecute any opponent for political expediency. We, the undersigned opposition parties, call upon your good office to ensure Dr.Machar is immediately released in accordance with the letter and spirit of the cessation of hostilities agreement which guarantees the release of all political prisoners”, wrote the group.

The letter bears the names and signatures of Henry Odwar, deputy chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation In Opposition faction under Riek Machar. Kosti Manibe from former detainees signed on behalf of his group. Other leaders include Gabriel Changson Chang of the Federal Democratic Party, Lam Akol Ajawin of National Democratic Movement, Taban Julu Ladimbe Lomuja, representing People’s Democratic Movement, General Thomas Cirilo Swaka, representing National Salvation Front,Hussein Abdel bagi Ayii Akol of the South Sudan Patriotic Movement/Army, Denay Chagor, representing South Sudan United Movement and General Bapiny Monytuil of the South Sudan Liberation Movement.


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  • 25 December 2017 07:19, by Eastern

    Dr. Machar is a stakeholder in South Sudan and must be released for any political process to hold; the SPLA-IO is not in Juba but out in the wild....

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  • 25 December 2017 08:15, by Augustino

    Really these are strange groups, as Micheal Makuei Lueth called them. Riek Machar is not a problem because he is not killing people now but these strange groups leaders still ordering troops and continue killing of people. Let Dr Riek rest and be back to South Sudan when his right time to campaign comes.

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    • 25 December 2017 08:28, by jubaone

      Kindly re-read the article and give pertinent comments or critique. Completely out off context, a clear sign of poor understanding and this is a horrible problem among Junubin and is the reason why most of us perform poorly in school.

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      • 25 December 2017 10:36, by Eastern


        When everybody is afraid of telling the emperor that he’s runner no naked in the streets of Juba while those claiming to fight and due in the defence of the cattlecamp constitution, then the country is in for a very long haul. Dr. Machar is physically housed and fed in South Africa but millions who believe in him are out there giving Kiir sleepless nights.

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        • 25 December 2017 11:25, by South South

          "When everybody is afraid of telling the emperor that he’s runner no naked in the streets of Juba while those claiming to fight and due in the defence of the cattlecamp constitution"

          Another very confusing statement from you. Please support the peace.

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          • 25 December 2017 12:06, by jubaone

            South South,
            Merry Christmas! You, the rest and all of us desperately need peace. But this is only possible if we acknowledge and respect each other like building stones in a house. Riak is one of those stones that must be part of this Junubi house. We can only hold him accountable once he’s involved. The IGAD foolishly took a long time, now they want him on board.

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            • 25 December 2017 14:09, by South South


              Merry Christmas! Peace will help all our tribes in South Sudan. Riek has done one big step forward when he ordered his forces to respect cease fire. This is way forward for his release. I do believe that South Sudan economy will boom immediately with a little loan. This is the only thing South Sudan need. Peace is always very difficult to manage, but we need to have will and act quickly.

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              • 25 December 2017 15:58, by Sunday Junup

                South South,
                I’m Tired of Loan, let bring peace to our country and work from here!

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                • 25 December 2017 18:47, by South South

                  Sunday Junup,

                  South Sudan has enough resources and does not need anything else from outside. Our resources are enough for everybody in our country. Oil is not really that important for our future. Our economy is bad now and to jump start it, we need small loan, just very small loan and our economy will jump up immediately. We can come up with the best suggestions on how to boom our economy.

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              • 25 December 2017 16:18, by jubaone

                South South,
                Indeed, our neigbhors ; Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt have economic, geo-strategic, religious, territotial interests and DONT want to see South Sudan rapidly develop. We simply have what they DO NOT. See it this way, SS is the single largest trading partner of Uganda with over $300m/annum. We Import 90% of all raw/manufactured goods from Uganda...

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                • 25 December 2017 16:22, by jubaone

                  ..as long as we CANT develop our agriculture, that is fine with them. Kenya gets over $230m in finacial capital investments and transfers through KCB, Equity, Cooperative, Stanbic et al Banks. As log as we have NO homegrown banks, that is fine with them. Kenya has literally annexed Ilemi Triangle, Sudan is taking away Hufrat el-Nahas, Kafia Kingi, Abyei. Ethiopia wants to sell us their electricity

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                  • 25 December 2017 16:28, by jubaone

                    .. and will remain recipients and CANT develop our power source. We cant then industrialize. All these neigbhors have huge and rapidly increasing populations while we kill ourselves. Uganda-39m; Kenya-45m, Ethiopia-85m; Sudan-39m; Congo-75m, Egypt-90m. All want to settle in SS once it gets "emptier". See the huge number of Habbash, Darfur, Ugandan in SS, they dont live in CAMPS, but in towns.

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                    • 25 December 2017 18:55, by South South


                      Everything will be OK if our leaders can come together and agree on how to run our country. The issue of foreigners in our country needs immediate attention from our government. Our resources are enough to our population if we focus first on agriculture, have strong education system and builds roads and high ways. This is just to start.

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                      • 25 December 2017 19:02, by South South


                        One example to all of you. I was on board on 540 fly from Nairobi to Juba. I met a Kenya lady who was visiting her husband who works for UN in Yei. She told me that she couldn’t believe what she saw on the way from Juba to Yei. She collected free mangoes and brought them back to Kenya. By the way, Kenyans are applying new vision for their education system. Egyptians have one too. S.Sudan

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                  • 26 December 2017 04:23, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g


                    Independence of South Sudan lost meaning with Kiir in power. We became a dependent country since then because our leaders lack vision for the country and her people. Imagine tomatoes in Konyokonyo market being imports from Uganda!! Plans for getting electricity from Uganda is good for short term interests but more importantly work on Fulla hydro Dam project must be paramount.

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  • 25 December 2017 15:54, by Majesty

    Merry Christmas to you all.
    I don’t like Dr. Riek Machar by any measure but isolating while his cousin Salva Kiir is languishing with daily decrees. It is not fair, both should be there or Riek should be released, after all signed peace process asked for prisoners be released. Riek is currently a prisoner.

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  • 25 December 2017 16:55, by lino

    South Sudan will be a better place for its people when primitive civil servants are replaced, respect and dignity between tribes are implemented, and the countries around us have nothing to benefit from our differences!!!

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  • 25 December 2017 18:21, by Nyesi Ta

    Merry Christmas,
    Once again IGAD has successfully laundered money for Christmas from their fake revitalization forum, trading in the name of our suffering people. The leaders of IGAD coincided the meeting with the Christmas Holiday to make money for themselves. Honestly speaking, they should release Dr. Riak Machar before any meaningful revitalization meeting could take place.

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    • 25 December 2017 19:06, by lino

      I agree 100%. Though, I am not a Nuer but the man was rip off his rights as a main rival and political figure by a destructive government of the day and IGAD looting countries!!!
      God and history will punish them all!!!

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  • 25 December 2017 21:10, by Eastern

    Dr Machar MUST be released from his confinement or there won’t be any meaningful discussions in February.

    Merry dry season!

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  • 25 December 2017 23:20, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    I thought 💭 you guys are celebrating the x-mass!I did not know that u celebrating Christmas 🎄 here with political parties.
    None of us is happy though about south Sudanese episode!
    But God must be in charge now, even if it means forceful removal of all enemies of peace ? he can do and the time is now!God go for it I pray Amen!

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  • 27 December 2017 05:01, by southsudan

    Please release him- He has done nothing and it doesn’t make any sense to keep somebody under house arrest. This is injustice for him and for the people of South Sudan. Since IGAD made this decision, how many people have we seen killed, displaced, and left the country. Again, this needs to be taken serious. Dr. Riek Machar- I will pray for your release and one day you have your freedom back.

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