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JUBA - 15 Nov 2019

SPLA-IO officer detained in Juba

Opposition group turned 'peace partner' of the South Sudanese government SPLA-IO has announced the arrest of one of its officers in Juba.

Lam Paul Gabriel, a deputy spokesman for the SPLA-IO group, told Radio Tamazuj this morning that Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Ngar-Ngar Batuk was arrested by the National Security Service in Juba on Wednesday.

“Ngar-Ngar is still in detention but we don’t know his whereabouts until now. He was arrested at Juba market without clear reasons,” Lam said.

Nhial Tot, a relative to the arrested SPLA-IO officer, confirmed the arrest in the capital Juba.

He pointed out that Lieutenant Colonel Ngar-Ngar was a member of the SPLA-IO advance team in Juba. “We don’t know the reason for Ngar-Ngar’s arrest by the National Security Service in Juba,” he said.

Tot added, “Ngar-Ngar was arrested at a certain place where they always sit, so we don’t know what happened exactly.”

Last week, President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar postponed the formation of a unity government by 100 days.

Key critical tasks in the peace deal have yet to be implemented, including drawing internal boundaries and creating a national army.