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The seven political officials handed over to the Kenyan government say they do not resent the government of South Sudan

Author : | Published: Friday, January 31, 2014

The seven political officials who have been handed over to the Kenyan government say they have no resentment towards the government of South Sudan.

The SPLM officials, who were under house arrest in Juba for six weeks after being accused of mobilizing the public against the government, were released by the President yesterday.

Deng Alor Kuol, Gier Chuong Aluong, Dr. Cirino Hiteng, John Luk Jok, Madut Biar Yel, Chol Tong Mayai, Kosti Manibe and Dr. Peter Aduok Nyaba are now in the custody of the Kenyan President.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed he had received the officials at State House in Nairobi yesterday.

“His excellency President Salva Kiir released to my custody 7 of the 11 detainees previously held in his country. Some detainees still remains in custody, as IGAD heads of state and government, we will continue our conversation about them with our brother President Salva Kiir. Together we will also discuss how best to establish the urgently needed monitoring and verification mechanism provided for in the cessation of hostilities agreement signed on the 23rd of January, this year. Let food, water and medicine reach those who most need them, let those in the camps return to their homes. Let us learn from the events of the last few months, and may we never again see anything like that again,” he told the media.

John Luk Jok, speaking for the group, said they recognize President Salva Kiir as the constitutionally-elected head of state and bear no hard feelings.

“Those of us from South Sudan, particularly we the 11 detainees, still recognize our President Salva Kiir Mayardit as our long time comrade because we had struggled for more than 20 years in order to achieve the current independence of South Sudan. We have to tell the whole world that we don’t feel bitter; we don’t think that our President is our enemy –not at all. We are his people, we are his friends, we are his colleagues and we are his comrades. We are all feeling sad about the tragic situation that has happened in our country just 3 years after independence. It is first and foremost our national duty to see that we restore our country to normalcy. We are putting ourselves to the service of the mediators, the IGAD countries in the region. Our hope and wish is that the crisis in our country should be quickly resolved, because we have seen the suffering of our people and that is not what they deserve, and that is not what we have fought for many and paid a lot of sacrifices,” he told journalists.

The Press Secretary in the office of the President, Ateny Wek, said that the seven officials would be recalled by the judge if needed.

“They were supposed to be released and stay in South Sudan but they expressed their concerns that they cannot be safe inside South Sudan. So they requested a third country, and that country is Kenya. This is conditional because if any need arises for the eight that were released on bail, to come and give a witness statement in a court of law, the Kenyan government will be asked to fly them to Juba so that they answer the case and return to Nairobi,” Mr Ateny said.

The Minister of Justice, Paulino Unango Wonawilla, said earlier this week that the investigations found that the officials released were discontented with the government but never participated directly in a coup attempt.

Mr. Wonawilla said the results of their investigations show that the December incident was a coup attempt.

He said Uyai Deng Ajak, Pagan Amum, Dr. Majak D’Agot, Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth are accused of planning and carrying out the alleged coup.

Former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, former governor of Unity state, Taban Deng Gai and former Minister, Alfred Lado Gore are to be tried for treason in their absence.


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