Feb 14th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —– A newly elected leadership of the armed opposition, SPLM/SPLA in Opposition under the leadership of the former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, in Canada strongly condemns death penalty charges on Machar’s former spokesman, James Gatdet Dak.
“SPLM – IO Leadership in Canada strongly condemns the death sentence of James Gatdet Dak, the former official spokesman of Dr. Riek Machar, Former first vice President of the Republic of South Sudan.” Reads the opening remarks of the newly elected SPLM-IO National Coordinator, Peter Keak Ngundeng.
Keak was responding to a ruling by South Sudan’s high court, passed On Monday, February 12, 2018 to sentence Mr. Dak to death and/or to 20 years imprisonment.
“The regime in Juba has brought false accusations against him in court and the court falsely sentenced Gatdet to one year in prison for violating article 75. Also, the court sentenced Gatdet to 20 years in prison for violating article 76. The court further sentenced Gatdet to death by hanging for violating article 65.” the coordinator continued.
According to Keak, the Leadership of SPLM – IO in Canada brings to the attention of the South Sudanese community around the world, African community in general and the international community at large that all the verdicts laid against James Gatdet Dak in the high court in Juba were merely false accusations.
“James Gatdet has committed no crime in South Sudan. He was only doing his job as the spokesperson of the movement. The issues are political and have nothing to do with criminal court. He must be released from prison and set free from death sentence.” Keak said.
The opposition accuses the government of President Kiir of failing to commitment to the agreements they signed in both 2015 and 2017 – leaving doubts if the regime will respect any outcome of the ongoing revitalization Peace Process in Addis Ababa.
“This act is a continuation of violation of peace agreement we signed in Addis Ababa in August 2015 and the attack by the regime on our leader Dr. Riek Machar in 2016 in Juba.” Keak continued.
“Furthermore, the regime signed the secession of hostility in Addis Ababa in December 2017 and they never respected that agreement. We know that the government delegations in Addis Ababa now are not there to negotiate peace and sign it in good faith. Their strategy is to create obstacles to peace process and a return to war. All parties know that this HLRF is the last chance for peace in South Sudan, but the government failed to recognize that opportunity.” He added.
Despite visible obstacles, Keak assures their supporters, sympathizers and the international community that his movement, SPLM/A(IO), is still committed to a political settlement of the conflict.
“the leadership of SPLM – IO in Canada would like to assure our members and our supporters that our movement is fully committed to peace through negotiation.” He said
“That being said, we are calling on the International community, IGAD, EU council, TROIKA and the AU to put more pressure possible on the Government of South Sudan to immediately, release James Getdet, other political detainees from their detention and set James Gatdet free from death sentence.” Keaks calls on South Sudan peace partners.
SPLM/A(IO) chapters in Canada call upon the Canadian Government and urge the rest of the international community to continue placing pressure on Kiir’s regime to realize the suffering of the people of South Sudan and accept peace instead of war.