JUBA – The deputy chairperson of the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) in South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Dominic Ukech Lueth, and the group’s acting state information secretary, Nicola Ngong Elias, have been arrested by members of the military intelligence, according to a senior group member.
Dut Majokdit, member of the SPLM-IO National Liberation Council (NLC), said Ukech who is also the deputy chairperson of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state commission for employees justice, and Mr. Elias, were arrested in Aweil on Wednesday by South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).
“I am saddened to learn of the arrest of our two comrades in Aweil by the military intelligent personnel without reasons,” Majokdit said in a statement extended to Sudans Post on Wednesday night.
Majokdit who is also the chairperson of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RCC) in Northern Bahr el Ghazal said the two senior SPLM-IO officials “were arrested and taken to the military base in Mathiang today.”
He said that the persistent “lack of political space necessary for multiparty democracy in the country is a threat to democracy and political set up for good governance.”
The senior opposition official decried the continued arrest of opposition members and said the unified forces provided for in the revitalized peace agreement should be graduated in order to protect citizens regardless of their political affiliations.
“The parties must graduate the unified forces and deploy them across the country to protect the revitalized peace agreement and political leaders in the R-TGONU instead of the military forces that are under political directives from a party,” he said, referring to the ruling SPLM faction led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
“Security forces must respect the constitutional post-holders and members of the other political parties that are signatories to the revitalized agreement,” he added.
The senior opposition official further condemned “in the strongest terms possible” the arrest of the SPLM-IO officials and appealed to “concerned authorities in the state and in Juba to investigate this continued threat and intimidation that has been repeatedly carried out against SPLM (IO) members by the security organs in Northern Bahr el Ghazel State.”