Former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar has condemned the deportation of his press secretary James Dak, terming the move a violation of the Geneva Convention.
Mr Dak, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) spokesman, was arrested by plain-clothes police at his Nairobi residence on Wednesday and held at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport police station before his deportation to Juba, South Sudan’s capital.
“The deportation of Mr James Gatdet Dak is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Moreover, the Kenyan Government is a guarantor to the peace agreement that was signed in August 2015 and we do not expect that it would put in danger the life of an innocent person,” Dr Machar said in a press statement sent to newsrooms.
The exiled former VP said that his phone conversation with Deputy President William Ruto and Attorney-General Githu Muigai appealing for the reversal of the action was in vain.
“I alerted them of the fact that James Gatdet Dak was an urban refugee under the protection of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Kenya. Unfortunately, my appeal was ignored,” he said.
The statement further reported that Mr Dak was arrested on arrival at Juba International Airport and is now in the custody of National Security Service.
The relationship between Kenya and South Sudan has retrogressed with Kenyan MPs threatening to push for the freezing of assets owned by Dr Machar and President Salva Kiir in Nairobi, in a bid to force them to restore peace in Juba.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday said that Kenya will no longer be part of the South Sudan peace process and announced that it will withdraw its troops from the war-torn nation, which was a reaction to the sacking of Lt-Gen Johnson Ondieki as the commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan.
Meanwhile, Dr Machar has appealed to the international community to exert more pressure to ensure Mr Dak is immediately released and reunited with his family.