November 27th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan army commander General Stephen Buay Rolnyang who has been demoted from the rank of Major General and dismissed from the active army service has said that his sentence by a Bilpam court was not confirmed by President Salva Kiir himself as required by the SPLA Act of 2009.
Buay who was released on Wednesday was arrested in Unity state’s Mayom County in May last year following fighting between a number of his guards and a huge force belonging to militia commander General Mathew Puljang Top.
He was accused of treason for trying to “rebel” against the “system which he denied.
Last month, he was sentenced to one year in prison, demoted from the rank of Major General to private and then dismissed from the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).
According to the SPLA act of 2009, President Salva Kiir – in his capacity as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces – have to confirm the verdict against Buay by the General Court Martial (GCM).
“It was not confirmed by the president. But they implemented it today at parade ground in which they dismissed and demoted me,” Buay referring to the verdict told the Nyamilepedia this evening from Juba.
However, in a letter dated November 14th 2019 addressed to the army chief General Jok Riak, President Salva Kiir’s head of legal administration Majok Mading Majok instead wrote saying the president had confirmed the verdict and that Buay – as a “civilian” – was free to go home which did happen today.
“I refer to the referenced letter NO. GCM/J/351/2019, of the President of the General Court Martial Maj. Gen. Thiik Aciek Hol dated 21, October 2019 addressed to H.E the President and Commander-in Chief of the SSPDF, in which the GCM read out the verdict to the above mentioned convict,” the letter by Kiir’s legal aide partly read.
“According to the documents on record, and after the judgment was read out, the convict was asked as to whether wishes to exercise his right of appeal or not in accordance the provisions of section 88(2) of the SPLA, Act, 2009 read together with section 263 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act 8002.
“The Convict is on record as having been satisfied by the verdict and hence did not intend to appeal. Therefore, H.E. the President has confirmed the verdict of the GCM in totality and he has further directed that the Convict should be released forthwith.”