Home | News    Friday 26 October 2018

South Sudan releases more 5 former political detainees

Former SPLM-IO Governor of Kapoeta, Mrko Lokidor Lochapio (second L) after his release with 4 other prisoners outside the Blue House in Juba on 25 oct 2018 (ST Photo)
October 25, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government Thursday released a new batch of political detainees members of the main opposition group, including the former SPLM- IO appointed governor of Kapoeta, Mrko Lokidor Lochapio as many others remain in jail.

Lochapio and four others: Abraham Majak Maliap, Bashir Ahmed Mohamed Babikir, Ding Deng Mou, and Madol Agok Akec were released in the afternoon from the Blue House as the security authorities invited the press to attend the event.

In a bid to advertise the event, the security authorities this time released the names of the freed political detainees and their political affiliation.

Also, a security official told reporters that the five were freed in implementation of the presidential decree to release the political prisoners issued on 27 September.

On 21 October, SPLM-IO Riek Machar called on President Salva Kiir to take a number of measures including the release of political detainees and prisoners of war and to ensure freedoms to create a conducive environment for the implementation of the revitalized agreement.

Lochapio who was abducted from Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya last December told reporters that a lot of opponents are still in held at the Blue House.

Among the prisoners James Gatdet Dak, the Spokesperson of SPLM-IO leader who also had been abducted in Nairobi by the Kenyan authorities before to hand him over to the South Sudanese authorities.

Sources close to the file say South Sudanese security authorities believe that the presidential amnesty does not cover him because Dak was sentenced to death by hanging last March.

At the time, the court sentenced Dak for allegedly inciting violence, disseminating false information to the detriment of South Sudanese national security and insulting the President of the Republic.

On 19 October, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had facilitated the release of 24 detainees freed by the South Sudanese authorities.

However, the five former detainees of Thursday were not accompanied by the Red Cross. The revitalized peace pact provides that the release of prisoners of war and the detainees should be supervised by the ICRC.

(ST)