Two South Sudanese opposition officials disappear in Kenya

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Two senior officials of South Sudan’s SPLM-IO opposition group have disappeared in Nairobi, Kenya.

Pouk Both Baluang, spokesman for the SPLM-IO faction in Nairobi, told Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday that the two officials – Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri Izbon – went missing in mysterious circumstances.

 

Senior officials disappear

Mr Baluang says the two officials went missing in separate incidences earlier this week.

“On Monday at night, Comrade Dong Samuel left the town and went towards his home in south C around 9:00 pm, but in the morning, we were informed by his family that he didn’t reach home,” he told Radio Tamazuj.

“Also today morning, Comrade Aggrey Idri went outdoors in the morning, he went to do some exercise in the morning, unfortunately, he didn’t return back home up to now,” he added.

Dong Samuel Luak is the former deputy chairperson of the SPLM-IO committee for constitutional affairs and Aggrey Idri Izbon is acting chairperson of the SPLM-IO committee for humanitarian affairs.

The two are believed to have been kidnapped by gunmen and various SPLM-IO members are pointing the finger at Kenyan authorities for allowing the disappearances to happen.

 

Kenya blamed for disappearances

According to reports from within South Soudan, numerous SPLM-IO members are blaming Kenya for the kidnappings, insisting they were both organised plans. One official, who refused to be named, told the South Sudan News Agency that President Salva Kirr pays a number of Kenya MPs to help track down members of the opposition group.

“We have overwhelming evidence that Kiir’s tyrannical regime pays some Kenyan MPs, I don’t think there is any doubt about that,” the rebel official claims. “So, the bribed Kenyan MPs covertly work with Kiir’s agents in Kenya to locate, kidnap, and deport any individual Juba sees a threat,” he adds.

Mr Baluang, is less direct in his accusations against Kenya, although he feels authorities in the country were involved in some way.

“We cannot accuse anybody now,” he said on Tuesday. “But we can say that they have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen, because I think it is a coordinated plan.”

 

Featured image: “Salva Kiir, the president of southern Sudan” flickr photo by Al Jazeera English https://flickr.com/photos/aljazeeraenglish/5335499393 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.