January 15th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s First Vice President Taban Deng Gai has threatened to sue neighboring Kenya over the 2017 disappearance of two prominent government critics and members of the country’s main armed opposition group.
Taban, who is sanctioned by the United states over the issue, made the remarks on Sunday at a local church in Juba in which he denied any responsibility over their disappearance which the United States government has blamed on him.
In late 2017, Dong Samuel Luak, a civil rights activist, and Agri Idri Isbon, a senior member of the SPLM-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny, were arrested in Kenya and then deported to South Sudan’s capital Juba.
The Human Rights Watch reported in 2018 that the two men were seen at Juba’s National Security Headquarters better known as the Bleu House, before they disappeared again.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan said in a report late last year that they have credible reports that the two men were killed through orders from the National Security Chief Gen. Akol Koor.
Last week, the United States government sanctioned first vice president Taban over the killing of the two men. They also accused Taban of involvement in divisive acts which has prolonged the ongoing conflict.
Speaking during a church service in Juba on Sunday, the controversial politician denied any hand in the killing of Dong and Agri suggesting that the government of Kenya was responsible for the killing.
“My Nuer community, I want to tell you that I don’t have any hand in the killing of Dong Samuel Luak and Agri Idri,” Taban said.
“I consider Dong as my younger brother. He was once wounded in Kenya and I was the person who covered all the costs for his treatment,” he added.
Taban said he has nothing that can let him target Dong saying “Dong is not a member of the SPLM-IO. He is a civil rights activist.”
“Agri is a member of the SPLM-IO. He left the country through my permission because he said he was visiting Kenya to see his family. I released him and I was making preparations to employ him at the Central bank of South Sudan,” he said.
He further said the government of Kenya was responsible because the two men in question were in their country and “will tell us where are they.”