South Sudan

Gatdet: Why Kiir Freed Politicians From Detention

salve geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>This clearly proves that there was no evidence to implicate them in the false accusation by the regime in Juba that there was a coup plot, sick or the detained politicians plotted a coup.

It is unfortunate that they were detained for four months on false grounds. Because there was no evidence to prove them guilty, the court was going to dismiss the case.

And in face-saving move to avoid an embarrassment by the court’s pending decision, Salva Kiir and his colleagues had to quickly come up with the decision to “pardon” the politicians before court’s judgment.

Normally, you pardon individuals after court’s verdict, particularly that those individuals were already involved in the court’s proceedings.

It is, however, not too late. We welcome the decision.

Their case has been one of our demands or conditions in order to negotiate a political settlement to the conflict with the regime.

They should be set free to move or travel to wherever they want to go to in this world.

We also called on the regime to expedite the withdrawal of the foreign forces which Salva Kiir invited to fight for him in South Sudan.

These include the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) and the groups of Sudanese rebels.

The regime should also respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement which our movement signed with them on 23 January.

The recent developments in Juba in which Salva Kiir appointed his tribal colleague, governor Paul Malong Awan as the new chief of general staff of his forces, is an indication of escalation of the conflict.

Malong was the one Salva Kiir tasked with the responsibility for mobilising and arming 15,000 tribal militias from his region who carried out the first massacres of thousands of innocent Nuer civilians in Juba from 15 December last year.

Our movement has always committed itself to a genuine political process and settlement to the conflict.

We will, however, continue to defend ourselves in exercising our right to self-defense should the regime continue to attack our positions in the country.

James Gatdet Dak, Spokesperson for the SPLM/A Chairperson and Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Riek Machar Teny


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