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SPLM-IO’s official denies allegations he was behind Dak’s deportation to S. Sudan

SPLM-IO leader Machar (R) and the head of information office Mabior Garang de Mabior pose for picture on 22 June 2018 (Photo Mabior Granag de Mabior)

November 3, 2018 (JUBA) - The chairperson of the SPLM-IO National Committee for Information and Public Relations Mabior Garang de Mabior dismissed allegations that he was behind the deportation to South Sudan of his Comrade James Gatdet Dak to South Sudan.

An article circulating in the social media attributed to a "freelance journalist embedded with the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs" with the names of William Kitonga Machria, claimed that Mabior was behind the arrest and deportation of Dak to South Sudan.

"When James Gatdet Dak issued a press release condemning a Kenyan General, Mabior then saw an opportunity to get rid of his archrival. In his meetings with Kenyan officials on November 1st, he encouraged them to arrest him and deport him to Juba," said the article.

In response to the journalist, Mabior posted a Tweet on Saturday evening, wondering why the author of the article omitted to mention that he too closely escaped deportation.

"Kenyan journalist William Kitonga Machria who claims to be a journalist in Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs failed to mention that I also narrowly escaped being deported," said Mabior.

"He should also tell us about what they did to Agger Iddrii and Dong Samuel since he is blaming Kenya ?!" He added.

When Dak was arrested by the Kenyan police in November 2016, in a statement to The Associated Press Mabior Garang, had urged Kenyan authorities not deport Gatdet to South Sudan, saying he would face imminent death.

At the time, the SPLM-Io accused the South Sudanese security service of being behind the deportation. But the article emphasized that the South Sudanese authorities had nothing to do with Dak’s deportation.

At the time, Kenyan government spokesman Eric Kiraithe told The Associated Press that Dak became "an inadmissible person, so we cancelled his visa and he was taken to his country of origin".

Human rights groups condemned the move of the Kenyan authorities, calling it a breach of international law.