Asman Kamama, an opposition Member of Parliament in Kenya has reportedly accused his country of receiving US$1m from the government of South Sudan, to effect the arrest and deportation of rebel leader Riek Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak.
The South Sudan Tribune quoted sources saying Mr Kamama ‘believes that Juba government has paid $ 1 million for the arrest and deportation of the opposition spokesperson. The payment is also to track down other opposition (SPLM-IO) members residing in Kenya’.
If true, Mr Kamama’s allegations come in the wake of the deportation of Gatdet Dak who, on his Facebook page wrote that the SPLM-IO welcomed the sacking of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) force commander, Kenyan Lieutenant General Johnson Mogao Kimani Ondieki.
It is believed that Dak’s post angered some politicians in Kenyatta’s government, with reports emerging that the Kenyan government has now turned down a request from the UN to name a replacement for Lt Gen Ondieki.
Through an investigation the UN admitted to the failure saying the malfunction of the mission was mostly due to poor command, with revelations that UNMISS failed to protect civilians and foreign aid workers in South Sudan’s Juba and Malakal cities.
Meanwhile, relatives said that Gatdet Dak was picked from his Nairobi home on Wednesday afternoon in what a appears to have been a coordinated operation organised by the special services of Kenya and South Sudan and taken to the airport where he was allowed to speak to some of his family members and relatives. The motive behind Gatdet’s kidnapping remains unclear and speculative.
But some people attribute the cause to the statement in which he welcomed the sacking of Lt Gen Ondieki, while others, some of who are high ranking members of the government, blamed the South Sudan government for engineering Dak’s deportation.
“This is a coordinated operation. The office of the president and the first vice president paid the money to the Kenyan government to execute this operation. They wanted James Gadet to be deported to South Sudan so that Riek Machar is denied an opportunity to speak to the outside world through his spokesman. This is the strategy employed by Taban Deng Gai. Now James Gadet is here. They brought him this afternoon. I saw at him at the blue house”, a highly placed source reportedly told Sudan Tribune.
No official statement from either the government of Kenya or South Sudan was made, with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Office of the President declining to comment.
SPLM-IO officials speak out
SPLM-IO opposition officials in Addis Ababa said that Gatdet was flown to the capital Juba Thursday afternoon, after being held at Jomo Kenyatta Airport awaiting deportation.
Another official in the Office of the SPLM-IO leader’s office said Gatdet’s deportation came hours after SPLM-IO leader, Riek Machar, who is currently in South Africa for medical treatment, had early yesterday established contacts with the Kenyan authorities to set free his spokesperson.
Earlier, Machar had also contacted UNHCR officials as Nairobi prepared to deport Dak, who also is a United States citizen.
Opposition officials say Dak could be killed, prosecuted or subjected to different forms of abuses while in the hands of the Juba government.