South Sudan

South Sudan Rebel Colonels Held at Juba Airport


capsule geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The incident reportedly occurred on Saturday.

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The Military Spokesperson for SPLA in Opposition, Brig Lul Koang, told Chimpreports on Monday morning that the rebels would soon take “unilateral measures to ensure safety of its members” if such actions are repeated by security in South Sudan.

He said government’s Security Personnel have violated multiple clauses of Status Mission Agreement (SOMA) on the establishment and operation of the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mission in South Sudan.

“On 21st June 2014, security operatives working at Juba International Airport prevented two senior officers; Colonels Gatthon Jual and Daniel Gatbel from boarding Addis Ababa bound flight and confiscated their passports,” said Koang.

“The two officers were also threatened with unspecified actions, on the verge of being taken to unknown location and only managed to get to safety after the intervention of the Chairperson of Joint Technical Committee.”

Koang said the duo is currently representing SPLA (Opposition) on MVT (Monitoring and Verification Team) and had been monitoring the implementation of Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in Bentiu and Malakal respectively.

Government did not immediately respond to our emails for comment on the latest development.

War broke out in December 2013 with South Sudan President Salva Kiir accusing his sacked Vice President Riek Machar of attempting to unseat him in a coup.

Machar denied the allegations, saying Kiir was determined to suffocate reformist voices within the ruling Party ahead of the 2015 presidential elections.

The turmoil has uprooted lives of thousands of people and threatened to plunge the nation into a sectarian conflict.

During the peace talks in Addis Ababa, it was decided by IGAD that a team be put in place to monitor compliance with the cessation of hostilities agreement.

Koang said preventing the movement’s military leaders from leaving for Addis Ababa where they were due to attend Training on Monitoring Process “contravened and contradicted government’s own acceptance of the establishment of the mission with understanding that the MVTs will conduct verification under the guidance of the JTC through on-site monitoring and in accordance with the CoH (Cessation of hostilities).”

“Security Personnel actions also violated government’s undertaking to facilitate the necessary arrangements for the entry and departure of the members of the mission without delay or hindrances from and into the Republic of South Sudan according to SOMA (VII, Entry, Residence and Departure), that the mission and its members, while discharging their duties under the CoH, shall enjoy freedom of movement and unhindered access(VIII, Travel and Transport) and that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of the members the mission and associated personnel( X, Security, Safety and Emergencies).

In the light of uncalled for, unwarranted harassment and unnecessary security threats on the lives of our officers, the Military Leadership of SPLA (Opposition) calls upon IGAD to put more pressure on Kiir’s regime to implement all aspects of SOMA in good faith before the movement takes unilateral measures to ensure safety of its members.”


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