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Machar’s official spokesperson “suddenly” dies in Khartoum

October 22, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudan’s armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) have announced the “sudden” death of Lam Kuei Lam, the spokesperson of their leader, Riek Machar.

Fallen South Sudan rebel leader’s spokesperson Lam Kuei Lam (File photo)

Lam, died in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum on Saturday.

The cause of his death, officials said, is still unclear.

“It is a shock to us all,” Pouk Both Baluang, the SPLM-IO’s director for information and public relations said in a statement issued on Sunday.

“It is a sudden and great loss to members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO/SPLA-IO),” he added.

Gabriel Duop Lam, South Sudan’s former Labour minister told Sudan Tribune Sunday that the leadership of the movement regrets the death of a "brilliant young journalist and a committed freedom fighter".

He said the armed opposition movement was now working with the family on the burial arrangements and any other information related to the cause will be given once family members come together.

“I cannot comment on the cause now because it has to be a decision by the family. And because of this war, the family is scattered. The leadership of the movement is now working to locate the family members and see how they can come together. This is now the first priority," said Duop.

He added, "The rest will follow and the public will be updated accordingly”.

Lam, who worked for various local and international media houses in Sudan and South Sudan, was appointed press secretary in the office of the South Sudanese armed opposition leader in January 2017.

He succeeded James Gatdet Dak, the former spokesman in Machar’s office who was deported and handed over to the South Sudanese government by Kenyan authorities in November 2016.

On social media, South Sudanese journalists described Lam’s death as a great loss to the media. A journalist described him as a "gentle and humble soul who got along with everyone".

(ST)