South Sudan releases 24 prisoners: Red Cross

The National Security facility in Juba, also known as the Blue House (Radio Eye photo)

October 20, 2018 (JUBA) – South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday.

The Red Cross, which is agreed by the peace parties as the supervisor of the release of detainees and prisoners of war, pointed that this operation was the first releases of prisoners under its control following the signing of the revitalized peace agreement.

“Our role in this week’s releases was to first ensure that all detainees were handed over voluntarily and that they had the opportunity to confidentially share their concerns,” said François Stamm, the head of ICRC in South Sudan.

Stamm, however, didn’t provide the details of the operation but said they transported the former detainees to different parts of the country when necessary and they examined the detainees’ health condition and make sure they are fit to travel.

The government and the opposition groups did not reveal the names of those who are released on Friday but different sources said they didn’t include SPLM-IO leading members who are still in jail.

In accordance with the revitalized agreement, the release of detainees and PoWs should intervene “immediately” the signing of the peace agreement. Also, President Kiir ordered their release in a decree issued on 27 September.

The ICRC said it regularly visits detainees in the places where they are being held in order to monitor their conditions and treatment.

Further, the humanitarian group said they discuss ” in a confidential way” the conditions of detention with the penitentiary and security authorities when needed.