By Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak,
Dec 20th, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– I am writing to you while going through resentful thoughts regarding fellow compatriot who is facing humiliation on the hand of South Sudan so-called National Security. I wish to appeal and share with you the fate of James Gatdet Dak a registered South Sudanese refugee, who was arrested at his residence in Nairobi Kenya on November 4, 2016 by Kenyan authority regarding the comment he had made on his Facebook page about a bitter dispute between Kenya and the United Nations’ former Secretary’ general Mr. Ban-Ki moon when ki-Moon fired Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki, a Kenyan native, who was appointed as a commander of the United Nations’ forces in South Sudan.
Ki-Moon appointed Ondieki in May of 2016 to replace Lieutenant General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam of Ethiopia whose assignment was due to expired in June that year. Since taking the top United Nations Mission in South Sudan command, Ondieke leadership was not tested, until when the fierce fighting in Juba that involved helicopters, gunships and tanks had ignited.
After skirmishes, report from the United Nations investigation found out that, Peacekeepers abandoned their posts and failed to protect civilians and foreign aid workers who pleas for help in a nearby hotel during the renewed clashes between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar’s bodyguards in Juba on the period of July 8-11, 2016. The predominantly Dinka Soldiers broke in the Hotel shot and killed John Gatluak a South Sudanese Nuer who work for USAID funded Internews as journalist and raped foreign aid-workers.
Peacekeepers also failed to protect United Nations assets, including a World Food Program warehouse from looting.
When the issue of Ondieki replacement went viral and widely discussed on social media, James Gatdet like everybody else commented on his Facebook page and that comment was misjudged like he applauded the dismissal of the said Kenyan Army General. Kenya was furious and immediately picked up James Gatdet from his home.
While Gatdet was stationed in the airport waiting to be flew to Juba, many concern individuals were alarmed for the reckless decision Kenya was making. For example, Dr. Riek Machar had contacted authorities in Kenya to reverse the deportation and set Gatdet free, his plead was ignored. Beside Dr. Riek appeal, the United Nations’ officials in Nairobi tried very hard to prevent Gatdet deportation, their pleas as well were defied. Abruptly, the angrily Kenya rushed with the deportation and handed the defenseless Gatdet over to the hand of the tribally motivated South Sudan security personnel.
Precisely, the process of Gatdet deportation was not only unfortunate, inhumane, and unlawful, by far, it was a violation of the international law. One of the main aspects of international refugee law is the basic idea that a country cannot send back a person to their country of origin if they will face endangerment upon return. Kenya has acted irresponsibly by making a decision that lacked transparency and authenticity. The authority would have allowed Gatdet to leave their country for one of the neighboring countries where his life would not be endanger.
As we speak, Gatdet is at risk of arbitrary detention and torture in the hands of South Sudanese government security operatives. In nearly ten months of uncertainty, Gatdet was first made to appear in court in August and again in November 2017 and false charges were leveled against him. The government is flouting the law by taking Gatdet to court without any legal assistance and this is totally unfair. Also in the courtroom, hearings are conducted in Arabic, a language Gatdet does not speak fluently. Why a person would be judged in a language he does not understand and an interpreter is not provided?
In criminal cases, if a person cannot afford a lawyer, the court has to appoint a lawyer for them, like public defender. Hence, in James Gatdet case, rightful groups such as the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty international lawyers should be allowed to provide legal services to James Gatdet given that Gatdet is an asylum refugee whose life is already threaten in South Sudan before he has to be deported back to face persecution.
According to the latest information received last week on Thursday December 7, 2017, Gatdet appeared again in South Sudan court. Then on weekend December 9-10, his image was revealed on social media and show that he was living in solitary confinement where he experience severe torture and starvation.
In that regard, I write you out of deep concern for his deteriorated health. If miracle do not magically occurred, survival might not be our best word. And that miracle may come through United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The seriousness of this threat cannot be underestimated given that prisoners in South Sudan face dangerous torture and inhumane treatments. The National Security deny meals as a method of punishment. As the result, individuals are left starving to death, and this is what Gatdet is going through. Their treatment is cruel, inhumane, degrading and does not qualify for any intent requirement of the treatment of prisoners everywhere. They lack credibility, transparency, and they carryout illegal partial national investigation in order to abuses individuals in their lawless institution.
I am calling upon the United Nations, Human rights watch and Amnesty International to take urgent necessary measures in seeking the release of Mr. James Gatdet Dak in that undeserved detention before it too late.
It is my hope I will hear a magical news regarding this innocent human being.
Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak
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