South Sudan Rebels Target Kenyans, Confiscate Passports in response to deportation of Spokesperson

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Kenyans in South Sudan fear for their lives amid reports of rebels confiscating passports demanding to know the whereabouts of spokesman James Gatdet Dak who was arrested from Nairobi and air lifted to his adversaries in Juba.

Reports from a source who requested anonymity said that Kenyans in rebel-controlled areas claim their lives are in danger.

He added that the rebels confiscated passports of 11 Kenyans from four international non-governmental organisations.

The In-Opposition (IO) representative to the UN has petitioned the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to intervene and ensure that all officials are deported to a “safer” country.

Overseas Security Advisory Council (Osac) African Regional Council raised alarm that “those of you working in South Sudan, there’s a threat for Kenyans right now. UN Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) recommending Kenyans avoid POCs and IO areas for a couple of days” One Osac constituent has said:

“We just had our three Kenyan staff passports taken in Akobo town. Other opposition areas, officials have been meeting with Kenyan staff [but]passports not taken in these locations yet.”

On Wednesday, Dak – who is Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) spokesperson – was arrested by police at his Nairobi residence and was later deported to Juba.

However, former Vice President Riek Machar protested the deportation, appealing to the international community to exert more pressure to ensure Dak is immediately released and reunited with his family.

“The deportation of James Gatdet Dak is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Moreover, the Kenyan Government is a guarantor to the peace agreement that was signed in August 2015 and we do not expect that it would put in danger the life of an innocent person,” Dr Machar said in a press statement sent to newsrooms on Friday.

Dak was again arrested on his arrival at Juba International Airport and is now in the custody of National Security Service.

Source: AFP