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Kenya disinterested in S. Sudanese opposition rants, deports spokesperson

Kenya disinterested in S. Sudanese opposition rants, deports spokesperson

South Sudan

Kenya has deported the spokesperson of former South Sudanese rebel leader and former Vice President Riek Machar on Thursday after he was arrested the day before at his home in the capital Nairobi.

Despite appeals from Riek Machar himself and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nairobi, the Kenyan authorities proceeded with James Gatdet Dak’s deportation, a spokesperson for the former rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO), Nyarji Roman said.

“Riek Machar immediately contacted the Kenyan authorities. In a telephone conversation with the Vice President William Ruto, he pleaded that James Gatdet Dak should not be deported to Juba because of deep concern for his life,” Roman said in a statement.

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

“The expulsion of James Gatdet Dak is a violation of the Geneva Convention. The Kenyan government is one of the guarantors of the peace agreement signed in 2015 and we do not expect it to endanger an innocent life,” Roman added saying Gatdet was immediately detained upon arrival in Juba.

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

Meanwhile, 11 Kenyan lawmakers led by security committee chairperson, Asman Kamama, met First Vice President Taban Deng Gai at the same period discouraging the calls for war from their country.

“We did not target a specific person but any leader from this region who is bent on trying to exert and trying to encourage people to go war; our country must not be used as a laughing pad,” local newspaper Sudan Tribune quoted Kamama.

James Gatdet Dak had said on October 31 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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