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Expel rebel asylum seekers, South Sudan urges IGAD

April 25, 2018 (KAMPALA) – South Sudan has urged the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to enact a law barring its political opponents from getting asylum in the region.

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S. Sudan cabinet affairs minister Martin Elia Lomoro (Photo KT Press)

Speaking during a meeting of IGAD officials and member states in Kampala, Uganda, South Sudan’s acting foreign affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomuro warned that rich South Sudan politicians currently residing in the region’s capitals could wage war against the Juba government.

“Some of them [politicians] have huge properties and investments inappropriately earned from South Sudan. This undeserved wealth is used to advocate violence and war against South Sudan,” he said.

Lomuro was addressing high level experts discussing the ratification of IGAD’s Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in Kampala.

He urged the IGAD member countries to expel political refugees.

“These kind of people cannot just be treated like ordinary asylum seekers because according to the IGAD Instrument of Establishment no member state should harbor rebels or allow such negative elements to use its territory against member states,” he stressed.

The meeting, held at Sheraton Kampala hotel, is a follow-up on first consultations, which the regional bloc held with South Sudan government officials and national stakeholders in Juba last year.

Resolutions on the provisions of the protocol are expected to provide a political endorsement to fast-track its negotiation and adoption.

According to IGAD, the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons would enhance regional economic integration and development.

Once adopted, however, the protocol will also help regulate the high volume of informal movement taking place in the IGAD region.

A number of senior officials, who included foreign and internal affairs ministers, lawmakers and immigration experts from the regional bloc, attended the meeting. Also in attendance were representatives from partner United Nations agencies such as International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the UN refugee agency (UNHRC), UN International Labour Organisation (UNILO) and the European Union (EU).

Currently, war-torn South Sudan has more than two million refugees living in neighbouring nation, with Uganda alone hosting over a million of its refugees.

(ST)

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