Groups accuse Kenya of irregular deportations

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Lobby groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have accused Kenya of deporting South Sudanese critics of President Salva Kiir.

The agencies alleged that Nairobi had a role in the deportation of Mr Dong Samuel Luak and Mr Aggrey Idri, who reportedly disappeared in Nairobi on January 23 and 24 last year.

They said the two were abducted by, or at the request of the South Sudan government.

“Both the South Sudan and Kenyan governments should urgently disclose the whereabouts and fates of the two men and ensure justice, truth and reparation for the crimes committed against them,” the watchdog groups said in a statement posted on their websites.

“Since South Sudan’s civil war began in December 2013, the National Security Service in Juba has arbitrarily detained dozens of perceived opponents, often torturing and ill-treating them with electric shocks, beatings, and harsh conditions. Authorities have also been responsible for enforced disappearances – in which authorities deny knowledge of a detention or abduction – as part of their campaign against those perceived to be government opponents,” the statement reads.

In November 2016, Kenyan authorities deported Mr James Gatdet Dak, a South Sudanese opposition member and spokesperson for rebel chief Riek Machar, even though he had refugee status.

On December 29, an opposition official, Mr Marko Lokior Lochapo, was reportedly abducted from Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, according to the statement.

It also said that multiple activists and opposition members who fled South Sudan had reported threats and intimidation by suspected Juba government agents in the region.

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