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SPLM-IO reiterates calls to release political detainees and prisoners

Kiir (R) speaks with Machar during the signing ceremony of the revitalized peace agreement on 12 September 2018 (UNMISS Photo)

October 9, 2018 (JUBA) – An SPLM-IO official reiterated calls for President Salva Kiir to release the political detainees saying they did their part of the peace pact and he should honour his commitment.

Stephen Par Kuol, head of the SPLM-IO National Committee for Foreign Affairs made his call in an interview with the VOA’s South Sudan in Focus, two days after a standoff at the Blue House, a notorious detention centre managed by the security service.

Kuol said the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar during their latest meeting in Khartoum on 22 September once again “asked directly President Salva Kiir to implement the agreement”.

He pointed that they have implemented the cessation of hostilities agreement of 21 December in the letter and spirit as they released all the Prisoners of War (PoWs) and provided humanitarian access to the SPLM-Io controlled areas.

When asked about what President Kiir said in response to Machar’s request Kuol said he pledged to free all the political detainees and prisoners of war.

“Kiir said he would release whoever he would find a life in Juba,” he said before to add “We know that our comrades are alive”.

Different SPLM-IO officials recently called for the immediate release of its members particularly James Gatdet Dak, Machar spokesperson, Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idri who had been abducted from Kenya and SPLM-IO governor of Kapoeta state MarkoLokidor.

They say they know that Dak and Lokidor are at the Blue House while the two others are held in a Ghost House in Juba.

The South Sudanese peace partners despite the delay in the release of political prisoners and PoWs continue to work together before the launch of the pre-transitional period.

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In Juba, it was announced that the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) will meet for the first time in the upcoming days.

In a Twit released Tuesday, British Special envoy for the two Sudans Chris Trott said he met with the NPTC chairman and Presidential Adviser Tut Kew Gatluak who confirmed him that the first meeting will be held in Khartoum towards the end of October.

Also, the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) Technical Committee will hold its second meeting in Khartoum on 10 and 11 October as the parties as supposed to begin the implementation of the security arrangements.

During the first meeting of 26 September, the ceasefire technical team discussed the CTSAMM restructuring to include the talks of the Areas Committees and the Monitoring Verification Teams (MVTs), the term of reference, CTSAMM reporting.



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