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UN urges South Sudan to respect rights of Machar's deported spokesman

UN urges South Sudan to respect rights of Machar's deported spokesman

South Sudan

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged the government of South Sudan to respect the rights of the deported opposition spokesman.

‘‘We urge the Government of South Sudan to ensure that Mr Dak is treated in accordance with human rights law and standards,’‘ a statement released by the body’s spokesperson, Cecile Pouilly, said.

The UNHCR said it was ‘‘deeply concerned about the well-being of Mr James Gatdet Dak, SPLA IO (Sudan’s People Liberation Army – In Opposition) spokesperson.’‘

We urge the Government of South Sudan to ensure that Mr Dak is treated in accordance with human rights law and standards.

Gatdet was deported to South Sudan from Kenya on Monday, 2 November. The UNHCR’s concern it added was also because, ‘‘Mr Dak had previously been granted refugee status by the Kenyan authorities.’‘

‘‘Mr Dak’s forced return is a violation of the principle of non-refoulement, which is the cornerstone of international refugee law. We also regret that UNHCR’s interventions with the Kenyan authorities to stop Mr Dak’s forced return were not successful,’‘ the statement added.

The arrest of Gatdet Dak was carried out after he issued a statement on Facebook supporting the dismissal of Kenyan UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) commander.

The reason for his arrest and deportation has not been disclosed but it is suspected that the operation was carried out together with the South Sudanese government.

In late October, Gatdet Dak again of Facebook stated that the SPLA-IO will be left with no option than to capture major towns in the country if “there will be no political solution to revive the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) by reversing ‘all’ Salva Kiir’s violations, etc.”

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