Nairobi/Juba, November 2, 2016 (SSNA) — Kenyan authorities have been accused of kidnapping the Spokesman for the leadership of South Sudan’s armed opposition, SPLM/A-IO sources have told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
James Gatdet Dak, the official Spokesman for South Sudanese rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar was allegedly picked up at his house by Kenyans who claimed to work for Kenyan police.
Sources also told the SSNA that James detainment could be link to a message he wrote on his Facebook profile early today, adding that his arrest amounts to “intimidation.”
Conflicting reports, which the South Sudan News Agency cannot independently verify, suggest that James Gatdet was in fact picked-up from his residence but released after hours of questioning.
On Wednesday, James wrote a message on his social media page, saying the armed opposition welcomes change in United Nations Mission in South Sudan Command.
“We welcome the change in the UNMISS Force Command in South Sudan. The peacekeepers failed to protect civilians during the crisis right in the capital, Juba, and in other parts of the country, more notably also in Malakal. We hope that a new Force Commander will be appointed soon who will be more responsive and take actions to protect the civilians at risk in exercising their mandate,” James Gatdet wrote.
In the statement, the rebel spokesman also praises UN for its decision to remove the Kenyan General and suggests that change in UN peacekeeping command would result in ‘confidence building’.
“We commend the action taken by the United Nations Secretary General, which we believe will contribute to confidence building among the vulnerable populations in South Sudan,” he said.
On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sacked Kenyan General who was the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The removal came hours after UN body tasked to examine attacks on UN personnel and killing of civilians by South Sudan’s government soldiers in July released damning report, linking government brutal campaign on civilians to failure of leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission chief.
It is not clear if James Gatdet is still being held by Kenyan authorities.
Attempts by the South Sudan News Agency to contact him by phone didn’t go through.