South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar’s political party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) demanded Kenyan authorities to release his spokesperson James Gatdet Dak following alleged detention.
SPLM-IO in a letter addressed to outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, copied to US President Barrack Obama,US Presidential nominees; Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and African Union Chairperson Robert Mugabe, SPLM-IO UN Representative Miyong Kuon says the arrest and intended deportation of Dak violates the United Nations charter on Freedom of expression and association, demanding that he should be accorded asylum.
“I am appealing to your esteemed office to abort the deportation case of James Gatdet and accord him with an asylum in a country he will be safe to reside,” Kuon said
He added that “It is unfortunate that the Kenyan government wants to take this unwelcoming move of handing over an opposition spokesperson to a government that killed its own people,” the letter said.
Speaking to the Star Newspaper, South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya Ambassador Mariano Deng said “We are not going to get involved in the matter as it is between Kenya and the United Nations, not Southern Sudan,”
Analysts say Kenya’s move to deport Dak is part of its angry response to the dismissal of their Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki as head of the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan.
Ban Ki-moon sacked Ondiek after a UN special investigation issued a damning report, saying lack of leadership in the force led to a “chaotic and ineffective response” during heavy fighting in the capital Juba from July 8 to 11. Kenya has threatened to withdraw troops.
Foreign Minister yesterday said the continued deployment of Kenyan troops in South Sudan “is no longer tenable”.
“This action is not only wrong but also insulates the Department Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) from the hard questions it needs to answer, and the responsibility it must shoulder to facilitate the proper management of UNMISS,” it said.
“The continued deployment of (Kenya’s) troops in South Sudan is no longer tenable and is inimical to their safety and well-being,” the ministry declared.