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U.S. Calls for Release of South Sudan’s Political Detainees

Addis Ababa, January 30, 2014 (SSNA) -- The United States has on Thursday called on South Sudan’s government to free the remaining four political prisoners who are still being held.

Earlier this week, the South Sudanese government released seven detainees and handed them over to the Kenyan government.

The U.S. says it welcomes the release of the seven prisoners and calls it a “positive step”.

“We welcome the release of the seven detainees and we believe that is a positive step ... We will continue to urge the release of the remaining four detainees," U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told Reuters.

Meanwhile, South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said the remaining four detainees are still under investigation and that final results of their cases will be given to president Kiir for his final decision.

"As soon as it (the investigation) is over, the report again will go to the president and he has the option also of using his constitutional authority to grant a pardon or whatever”, Marial told Reuters.

The four remaining detainees are: Former deputy defense Minister Majak D’Agoot, Former SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum, former head of South Sudan’s office to the United States, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, and ex-national security minister Oyai Deng Ajak.

Rights group welcomes cessation of hostilities agreement, calls for inclusiveness

Washington, DC, January 30, 2014 (SSNA) -- South Sudan’s human rights agency, the Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD), welcomes the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement between South Sudan’s warring factions.

The agreement was signed on January 23, 2014, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In a statement released to the media, the block appreciates the signatories to the accord and calls for credible peace talks so that a lasting solution to the conflict can be attained. The group also demands investigation into civilian killings.

“The Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) welcomes the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and call for inclusiveness in negotiating long-term settlement to South Sudanese problems and grievances”, the statement reads in part.

“ASSD urge the signatories to the Addis Ababa Cessation of Hostilities Agreement to be inclusive of other armed groups, civil societies, faith-based groups, South Sudanese Diaspora and friends of South Sudan operating in the country and around the world in order to reach a comprehensive long term political and durable solutions to issues faced by the people of South Sudan before and after independence”, it added.

The US-based rights group said it wants to see those who instigated the killing of innocent civilians be held accountable and cited lack of political will within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) as the root cause of the crisis.

The group also urges all concerned members of the International Community to support peace efforts in Ethiopia.

Bellow is the original text of the statement:

_________________________________________

Press Release
January 30, 2014

Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) welcomes Cessation of Hostilities between the Government of South Sudan and the Oppositions and call for inclusiveness in negotiations in order to realize a durable Social and Political stability in the world’s youngest nation

The Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) welcomes the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed last week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and call for inclusiveness in negotiating long-term settlement to South Sudanese problems and grievances.

ASSD believes that the current conflict could have been avoided if there was a political will within the ruling party, SPLM in accommodation and tolerance toward differing views and political opinions across the South Sudan political spectrum.

ASSD urge the signatories to the Addis Ababa Cessation of Hostilities Agreement to be inclusive of other armed groups, civil societies, faith-based groups, South Sudanese Diaspora and friends of South Sudan operating in the country and around the world in order to reach a comprehensive long term political and durable solutions to issues faced by the people of South Sudan before and after independence.

ASSD also urge the International Community notably the United Nations, United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Europeans Union(EU), Norway, Australia, Africa Union (AU), Neutral IGAD Countries, Human Rights organizations, International Criminal Court (ICC) and friends of South Sudan to support the ongoing peace process between the South Sudanese warring parties in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by making sure that the underlying issues and fundamental problems are addressed in order for peace and trust to be restored among South Sudanese Communities.

We firmly believe that for long-term settlement of South Sudanese current hostilities and prevention of future conflicts, those who instigated and caused the murder of innocent civilians be held accountable and prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

For information, contact us at: +1(202) 709-7322 or viaemail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Department of Information and Public Affairs
Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD)
Washington, DC USA
Telephone: +1(202) 709-7322
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

About the ASSD: ASSD is an umbrella organization for South Sudanese organizations and individuals championing the causes for freedom, democracy, human rights, good governance and development in South Sudan

Norway Wants Uganda to Start Withdrawing its Troops From South Sudan

Addis Ababa, January 29, 2014 (SSNA) -- Norwegian foreign minister Borge Brende has on Wednesday said Uganda should begin withdrawing its soldiers from the conflict-hit south Sudan.

Brende’s comment comes just six days after the “cessation of hostilities” was signed in Ethiopia by South Sudan’s opposing factions.

"It is now important that President Museveni of Uganda starts the process of reducing and later pulling out the Ugandan troops that are in Juba and surrounding areas”, Foreign Minister Borge Brende told Reuters news agency.

Brende appealed to the Sudanese president Omar al Bashir not to intervene militarily and also asked the neighbouring countries not to do anything that could jeopardize the peace efforts.

"I also appeal to President (Omar Hassan) al-Bashir of Sudan to refrain from any kind of intervention”, he said.

"We also have to make sure that all the neighboring countries play a very constructive role and refrain from any kind of action that can add to the crisis”, he added.

Peace talks will resume in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on the 7th of February 2014.

Regional observers believe that Uganda’s military involvement in South Sudan could further escalate the conflict. Uganda has already admitted that its troops are fighting alongside South Sudanese government forces.

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