Nine ex-opposition fighters released in Wau

Authorities have released nine members of the armed opposition who were detained since the eruption of violence in Wau town last year.

In April, there were reports of fighting between the army and an anti-government group in different parts of the state.

President Salva Kiir directed for the arrest of anyone who may have committed crimes against the civilians in Wau.

The SPLA reported that 37 were arrested during a disarmament process that was carried out in Wau town following the violence.

29 of those arrested, were from the organized forces and were released after investigations. While nine others were kept in custody.

The individuals, believed to members of the armed opposition have been in custody for 3 to 10 months.

On Tuesday, the Governor of Wau State, Angelo Taban, said the release of the nine individuals after more than a year in detention is part of an amnesty issued by President Salva Kiir to engage in the national dialogue process.

“It’s your  right to be release so that you can reunite with your family, and also to send message to the areas you came from that there is no need to continue with the war,” Gov. Angelo told the freed individuals.

A statement from UNMISS in April last year said the mission had been informed that a number of government soldiers were killed in an ambush to the south of the town of Wau in the north-west of the country.

Fighting then spread to Wau.

The commander of the fifth inventory division in Wau, Major General Michael Major welcomed the release of the 9.

“The prisoners of war are our brothers, and they are citizens of south Sudan. Some of them joined the SPLA-in Opposition and got trained, but most of them were members of the national army of South Sudan, the  SPLA,” Major said.

President Salva Kiir declared an amnesty to all political detainees during the launch of the national dialogue.