U.S. Calls for Release of South Sudan’s Political Detainees

Addis Ababa, January 30, 2014 (SSNA) — The United States has on Thursday called on South Sudan’s government to free the remaining four political prisoners who are still being held.

Earlier this week, the South Sudanese government released seven detainees and handed them over to the Kenyan government.

The U.S. says it welcomes the release of the seven prisoners and calls it a “positive step”.

“We welcome the release of the seven detainees and we believe that is a positive step … We will continue to urge the release of the remaining four detainees," U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told Reuters.

Meanwhile, South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the remaining four detainees are still under investigation and that final results of their cases will be given to president Kiir for his final decision.

"As soon as it (the investigation) is over, the report again will go to the president and he has the option also of using his constitutional authority to grant a pardon or whatever”, Marial told Reuters.

The four remaining detainees are: Former deputy defense Minister Majak D’Agoot, Former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum, former head of South Sudan’s office to the United States, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, and ex-national security minister Oyai Deng Ajak.

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