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Former South Sudan political detainee joins rebels


June 29, 2014 (JUBA) – A group of former South Sudanese political detainees announced on Saturday that one of their colleagues had joined the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Opposition under the leadership of former vice-president, Riek Machar.

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Ezekial Lol Gatkuoth (right) sits with his co-accused (from left) Oyay Deng Ajak, Pagan Amum Okiech, Majok D’Agot Atem at their trial for treason in Juba (Photo: Charlton Doki/VOA)

Former justice minister John Luk Jok said the leadership of the former detainees held a meeting on Friday to approve ambassador Ezekial Lol Gatkuoth’s request to join Machar’s group.

“He (Gatkuoth) expressed his genuine desire to go and assist the SPLM/A [in Opposition] politically,” said a statement released by the former detainees and extended to Sudan Tribune.

Jok denied there were any division in the camp, saying the groups remains united and fully committed to the agenda of achieving peace, stability and democracy in South Sudan.

“There is no division ... The meeting unanimously endorsed the request of ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth to join [the] SPLM/A in Opposition since this is his individual wish at this critical juncture in which the people of South Sudan are yearning for peace and democratic change,” the statement adds.

Jok said the group held no ill-feelings towards Gatkouth and hoped that he would pursue the cause of their grievances in a manner consistent to their calls for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

“We trust that Ambassador Ezekiel will pursue the struggle for just peace, democracy and justice in South Sudan and add political value to [the] SPLM/A in Opposition,” said Jok.

“Having shared in the common experience of the struggle for independence of South Sudan and the fight against despotism, we can only wish him well in his new political endeavours,” he added.

The group of senior officials from the ruling SPLM were detained following the outbreak of violence in South Sudan in mid-December last year on charges related to an alleged coup plot to overthrow the government.

Seven members of the group of 11 were subsequently released on bail and left the country for Kenya after the country’s rival factions reached a ceasefire agreement in January, while the remaining four were freed in April after charges of treason were dropped and their trial was aborted.

The seven political figures went on to take part in peace negotiations being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, participating as a separate bloc after deciding against allying themselves with Machar’s group.


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  • 29 June 2014 08:25, by Chol A.

    We know from day that Ezekiel is one of coup floaters and if freed he will joint his tribes rebels and you john Luke will be joining him too. The things is you will come back ashamed and we will not tolerate or pardon the misbehave and leadership agreedies to get into systems anyhow.

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    • 29 June 2014 09:01, by Madina Tonj

      Chol. I wouldn’t disagree any more because what you said is absolutely correct. All of them including Riek Machar Teny and Taban Deng Gai will be back again. President Kiir has allow anyone to join any side he like. This president Kiir is the only leader who gave more positions to Nuer people unfortunately, there was no appreciation to thank him and I don’t think they will get such an opportunity

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    • 29 June 2014 11:54, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      No matter on Ezerkiel Lol on to joined Riek Machar Rank of rebellion he was already switched off his alliance with government ranks.

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      • 29 June 2014 15:23, by Ito

        The joining of a wise man Ezekiel Lol is an answer for years of cry for freedom,democracy and justice in south sudan. The tribal government in Juba is on it way to the exit door and soon we and the world will see its collapse. You have taken a bold decision by not associating yourself with opportunists who Riek sacrifice for only to be betrayed by them for money sake. Love is strong than money

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    • 29 June 2014 12:23, by Rami Tot

      who told you are the one who can give powers who are you than stupid fucking bulshirt even now you are thinking you will win the war very stupids indeed your new APC brought from those brutal country Egypt who got them from USA and South Africa we have got solution for it now and good number of it we capture it from you idiot without M7 can survive, the could have been over since the first two wee

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    • 29 June 2014 12:32, by Rami Tot

      Chol A.
      Ezekiel Lol is not a food lover those of Luke Jok and rest who are working in current government the government that kill people of Nuer in cool blood yet they still working with it.
      you guys always talk of elected government, what we know the elected government is a responsible government that can not kill it own pipo in cool blood if that happen the president should resign from the post

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  • 29 June 2014 09:08, by Snipper

    Nuer never learn from their mistakes and they are the most unapologetic people among human race. They are accustomed to complain using violence instead of reasoning. They will keep failing human test in history of their community.

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    • 29 June 2014 09:21, by Akook

      This mentality from us adopted by Kiir to rule this country is what brought this country to this shame. Look at comments from above Dinka fellows? Despite all the sea of mess, they still think Kiir is a good leader simply because he is a dinka like them. Bullshit, Kiir must go this time and Gen Dau made it clear to every corrupt doubting Thomas

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  • 29 June 2014 10:04, by Joseph

    Congratulation Ambassador, go tell the true to world. No room for propoganda. Stupid dictator must go and die like formar president of Iraq (Sadam Hessen).

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  • 29 June 2014 12:25, by Jubawe

    Good on you Luk, Kirr government failed in all direction, on Thursday Kirr and Paul Maloug had closed door meeting in Belpom to assassinate our three Equatoria Governors on Friday but the plan was been monitor closely and was failed Kirr and Paul Maloug fly out of Juba on Friday while the assassination will take place in their absence, President has just start war again Greater Equatorian,

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  • 29 June 2014 12:38, by Robot

    All that we want as common citizen is peace, if Lol will bring peace then that is welcome, common people at the grass roots are suffering, this time is not time to exchange blames between Riek, Kiir, Nuer or Dinka, it is time to reckon and reconcile.

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  • 29 June 2014 12:39, by Jubawe

    Kirr never learn from past fake coup, what ever Kirr and his fellow Dinka will failed, Dinka and Kirr have announce war against greater Equatoria,
    Kirr though by assassinating our three Governors on Friday will silence greater Equatoria, we will monitor Kirr closely soon those Ugandan troops Equatorian blood will turn their gun to Kirr if anything happen to one of our Governors, Kirr will leave J

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  • 29 June 2014 12:53, by Rami Tot

    Ambassador Lol Garkuoth for the bold decision taken you will be the only respected among those traitors opportunist leaved .

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