Payinjiar County Commissioner Release First Statement, Denies Earlier Reports On Government Officials Held In Rebel Territory in Ganyliel.
“This is to correct some of the information shared with the world by Sudan tribune yesterday and quoted me (Commissioner John Tap Puot Kang) as the person who said it. below are the correct information about what happened on Tuesday here in Ganyliel and is my first statement.” Said the Commissioner of Payinjiar County.
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According to General John Tap Puot, who spoke to the Press today, an illegal flight 5H-MZA flown in Hon. Peter Gatkoi Belieu, a regime appointed Commissioner for Nyal County in accordance to the controversially created 28 states on Tuesday.
“On Tuesday, the 27th Dec. 2016, a charter flight whose its registration number is: 5H-MZA flown in Peter Gatkoi Belieu who is a government appointed Commissioner for Nyal County according to the controversial created 28 States.” Said General John Tap.
Unknown Pilot Mohammed Nassor Sauh
According to Commissioner Tap, the unknown pilot of the charter flight failed to produce his legal documents, not even a passport or an ID and although he claims to be a Tanzanian national, he has no contact with Tanzanian’s Embassy in South Sudan – a claim General John Tap found fishy to accept for safety and security concerns.
“We detained the Plane and the Pilot because he was not in possession of any document either passport nor National ID but claimed to be a Tanzanian National, and when asked to give the contacts details of Tanzania Embassy in South Sudan he said, ” I don’t know we have embassy in South Sudan may be Kenya he added”.” General Tap reports in his first statement.
From his identity, names and skin tone, the pilot, Mohammed Nassor Sauh, could be a Kenyan of Somalian origin but refused to reveal his true identity for his safety in rebels’ stronghold.
A thorough investigation into the flight revealed that the Charter was leased by Tor Air Availation, a Sweden Company that is partly owned by Salva Kiir family.
The aircraft type was found to be CESSNA 208B-CARAVAN with Registration number 5H-MZA.
Commissioner Tap warns Juba that allowing illegal foreign flights to be operated by unidentified personal jeopardize the sovereignty of South Sudan and will not be entertained in SPLM/SPLA(IO) held areas.
“My message to the World and South Sudanese in particular is that, it is illegal by to allow a Foreigner entering the Country without proper document to identify him/her, if it is legal in Juba, here in Payinjiar it is illegal and I don’t entertain it. the government in Juba should stop such a criminal act that can endanger the lives of South Sudanese.” Said Commissioner John Tap.
Refuting Claims by Sudantribune
Commissioner John Tap assures that Peter Gatkoi and his accompanying delegation is safe under his custody but warns that their motives must be thorough investigated.
Refuting claims by other medias, Commissioner Tap said that Gatkoi carried only 10, 000 SSP, an equivalent of $100 US dollar and a lot of food items.
“I am here to dispute the information that said he came with three Boxes full of money, that was not true at all, what he came with are: 10,000 SSP, 2bags of sorghum, 1 bag of Rice, 2 bags of flour, 1 bag of Red Onion, 2 bags of his body clothes and 1 Thuraya phone” Said John Tap.
“please don’t consider the statement shared by Sudan Tribune that 3 boxes full of money was confiscated from Gatkoi Belieu in Ganyliel, that not true at all, I repeat.” Tap continued.
Pending further investigation, the rebels under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny warns that the charter plane and government officials will not be released until James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesman who was forcefully deported by Kenyan authority to Juba, and other rebels in government prisons are first released.
Although the rebels released a Kenyan plane earlier this year in Uror County and also released 72 Kenyans, who were arrested after Gatdet’s controversial deportation, Kenya under the leadership of Uhuru Kenyatta is believe to have taken side in support of Salva Kiir government but countries like Tanzania and South Africa remain neutral.
The rebels have released many charter planes in the past in Phow and Bieh States, and also government officials including a Brigadier General, who mistakenly landed in a rebel stronghold of Jiech, Ayod County in 2015; however, the Opposition is agitated by lack of similar good will from the government side and some neighboring countries.
The chairman of the armed Opposition, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who remains in South Africa, is yet to comment on this development.