Jonglei State, News

SPLM-IO denounces detention of senior official

By Manas James

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), a main opposition in the country, has condemned the detention of its senior official in Ayod County, Jonglei State.

The party’s secretary-general in Jonglei state, Michael Bol Gatdor, said Juach Gatwech who happens to be the county executive director was arrested on Friday, after returning from a peace mission.

“The official was picked up from his house at 1 am by the police and other security organs on orders of the county commissioner. He was released after we raised concerns with Juba,” he said.

“So, as the SPLM-IO, we strongly condemned the arrest of this senior official for no reason,” Gatdor stated.

He noted that the executive director had gone ton Mogoag to recover cattle raided from Nyirol, adding that Gatwech handed the recovered animals over to Nyirol officials only to be arrested on his return.

“It was on his return to Ayod that he was asked not to resume work and then later detained. Our message is that these arbitrary arrests are not helpful” the party secretary general stressed.

He added that those being arrested have followers who may react, and this may not end well.

Meanwhile, Edmund Yakani, a prominent civil society activist, called on parties to the peace agreement to respect freedom of expression in areas under their control.

On 22 October 2022, the presidency agreed that state governors, county commissioners, and all other local administrators should open political space for all parties to conduct their activities.

Yakani observed that the president’s directive was immediately violated by both SPM and SPLM-IO in places like Aweil and Fangak.

“So, there is a need for the freedom of expression to be extended to the media and political parties other than the SPLM party,” he said.

Ayod County commissioner was not immediately available for comment at press time..

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