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James Dak’s wife renews calls for South Sudan president to release him

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)
September 10, 2018 (JUBA) - The wife of the SPLM-IO spokesperson James Gatdet Dak renewed calls for South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to pardon and order his release ahead of the final signing of the revitalized peace agreement, this week.

"I hereby appeal to you once again, Mr President, for the release of James Gatdet Dak and allow him to attend the signing of the revitalized agreement slated for mid-September," said his wife Mary Nyahok Chuol in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

Dak who had been deported by the Kenyan authorities in November 2016 was sentenced to death by a special court in February 2018. His lawyers termed the verdict as a political decision.

Last June, Juba signed a ceasefire agreement providing also to free all the political detainees. In August, the government announced the release of 21 political prisoners but no political or armed groups identified its members among the freed inmates.

Gatdet’s health reportedly has deteriorated during the recent months due to the lack of medical care and medication.

"His deteriorating health inside the prison should be of great concern to you Mr President, on humanitarian grounds. I, therefore, appeal to your office to take a decision and finally release my husband," stressed his wife Mary.

She added that his release will offer him the opportunity to seek a special medical attention abroad and reunite with his family.

The government and the opposition groups are expected to sign this week a revitalised peace agreement brokered by the IGAD, two years after the collapse of its implementation in July 2016.

The IGAD, African Union and the United Nations represented by its mission in South Sudan will be this time closely involved at all levels in the implementation of the revitalised deal to ensure its full implementation and prevent any setback.

"We believe as a family that it would be in the interest of peace agreement, the declared General Amnesty, confidence building and reconciliation," concluded his wife.