Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 4 October 2018

The fate of Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idri


By Rita Lo-Lodu

It is now nearly two years since these two activists disappeared in Nairobi under mysterious circumstances. They were kidnapped by the Kenyan security on the orders of some influential South Sudanese politicians who were, like them, rebels but they switched to the government.

The relatives of these two men up to now do not know their whereabouts. Their abduction followed the one of James Gatdet Dak, the former spokesman of Dr Riek Machar who is now languishing in Juba main prison under poor health conditions. James was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for an incitement and death by handing on the charges of treachery, not based on concrete evidence.

The verdict was passed in what human rights organizations believe was a kangaroo court. It is important to stress here that the two Opposition activists are said to have been abducted on the orders of the big fishes in the Juba SPLM-IO formed after the 2016 well-planned incident that saw Dr Riek flee Juba.

It is worth mentioning that these two men have not done much damage worse than their abductors now occupying senior government positions in Kiir’s administration.

The families had, on more than one occasions, approached the Amnesty International and Human rights Watch in order to secure their unconditional release but efforts remain futile.

We are all aware that President Kiir issued a number of Executive Orders even before the peace pact pardoning many detainees, rebels and political dissidents. The relatives need to know why the two gentlemen are still missing and the person behind their disappearance and who is refusing to have them release like any other rebel.

I thank the President of the Republic of South Sudan for pardoning political culprits including those who mobilized their tribesmen to oust him from power in 2013.

The Kenyan government has a bad history of handing over oppositions to their government to be liquidated. The case of Dong Samuel and his colleague is not the ?rst of its kind.

Informed sources in Nairobi confirmed that they were kidnapped by desperate Kenyan Security men who have been bribed by a senior official of SPLM-IO in Juba.

The point here is that the relatives must be told whether these men are alive for them to be charged in a competent court of law or disclose their fate.

Dong Samuel hails from Lou Nuer where the mighty popular and notorious white army come from whereas Aggrey is from Moru tribe of Western Equatoria.

They have relatives who deserve to know their whereabouts. They have been held incommunicado for ages and it is now time to tell the relatives and the public about what actually happened. They are South Sudanese who deserve to live or die honourably.

If those who organized, funded and coordinated the activities of the SPLM-IO from 2013 to 2015 and whose agenda was to topple the Kiir’s government by bullet, could be forgiven and are now the ones enjoying the oil money and the revenues, why not Dong and Aggrey if the rebellion has become the main source of wealth accumulation?

I believe the same kindness that forgave them should be extended to the two gentlemen, after all, they have no armed groups. They were just media activists. They should bene?t from the goodness of the President of South Sudan who is known and used to forgiving and accommodating the rebels for the sake of peace, unity and territorial integrity.

The relatives are nervous but fearing for their lives and so they do not want to speak out. The agreement provided for the release of the POWs and the political detainees.

They are politicians and so are covered by the agreement. It cannot only be Dong Samuel and Aggrey who should be considered to ultimately pay for Dr Riek and Taban’s 2013 deadly rebellions which have destroyed major towns with massive losses of lives and properties.

As a human right expert, I call on the abductor (s) of these active men to inform the public about what happened to them and how? It may later turn tribal if it is not seen well as some credible sources revealed.

It may cause another inferno inside Juba town between their relatives and the abductors. Their people will not keep quiet when those suspected of having kidnapped their sons are enjoying the freedom they were denied to.

They rebelled like their leaders now with the government and who have turned against their subordinates to prove falsely to President Kiir that they are loyal by victimizing those who refused to join them.

The fight to get them released will not stop until this call is heeded. Please, tell their relatives where they are and set them at liberty to enjoy the fruits of peace.

The author is a Human rights Lawyer and activist and can be reached by rita2007@gmail.com

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