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Civil society group lauds release of war prisoners, detainees


After their release, Prisoners of war line up as they board ICRC plane to Juba on 28 January 2018 (ST Photo)

October 21, 2018 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese civil society entity has welcomed progress so far made in regard to the coalition government’s decision to release prisoners of war and detainees.

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said the release of the prisoners of war directly impacted on nurturing trust and confidence among the parties for availing political will for a genuine implementation of the peace agreement.

“In an honouring manner, we are calling upon parties to do progress in releasing political detainees,” said CEPO’s executive director, Edmund Yakani.

“The progress made on the release of prisoners of war is impressive and we hope the same progress can be made on the release of political detainees,” he added.

Last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the South Sudanese government had released 24 of the country’s detainees as part of ongoing efforts to implement the revitalized peace agreement.

ICRC, which was agreed by the peace parties as the supervisor of the release of detainees and prisoners of war, said the operation was the first releases of prisoners under its control following the signing of the revitalized peace accord.

"Our role in this week’s releases was to first ensure that all detainees were handed over voluntarily and that they had the opportunity to confidentially share their concerns," said François Stamm, the head of ICRC in South Sudan.

Stamm could not provide the details of the operation but said ICRC transported the former detainees to different parts of the country when necessary and they examined the detainees’ health condition to ensure they were fit to travel.

Yakani, however, said the demonstration of transparency by ICRC on the progress made on the release of prisoners of war could not go without mention.

“This made our past calls for ICRC to be keeping the public informed on the process of implementation of the peace agreement provision on the release of prisoners of war and detainees. Although still, we are asking for the disclosure of the names of the released prisoners of war as a strategy of reconciling their family members on the fate of their sons or daughters,” he further stressed.

Meanwhile, CEPO has urged all parties’ signatory to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) to promote non-restrictive civic space for supporting the dissemination of the peace agreement.

“The recent interference of security with civil society process in Jongeli state is disturbing and it is an unacceptable practice, especially the unlawful detention of civil society members,” the civil society body said in a 22 October statement.

CEPO urged members of the national pre-transitional committee during their first meeting to agree on clear mandate or their working Terms of Reference (TOR).

“We calling for TOR that helps in promotion of political will, good faith, trust and confidence, transparency, accountability and commitment for timely action for genuine implementation of the peace agreement,” further notes the statement.

On 12 September, South Sudan rebel leader, Riek Machar signed in Khartoum a peace agreement with the government to end a civil war, which killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.


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  • 22 October 2018 14:35, by Midit Mitot

    South Sudanese are not easy, they are even confusing ICRC to distribute wrong people to their original location as prisoners of war while the real POWs are still on detention.

    repondre message

  • 22 October 2018 18:52, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    Fellow country men-women let’s not complicated things here by manufacturing words that are not in their originality, You can not exchange people as money, do you things that those guys lining up in their numbers did not know how to speak in English to tell (Kawaja) that we are not the prisoners of war? Let’s be logical when it comes to issues of a greater concern like these for a nation building

    repondre message

    • 23 October 2018 07:06, by Midit Mitot

      Don Don-Malith,

      Try to inquiry the fact base on this transport, they are boarding from where? and heading where? you will surprise man.

      repondre message

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