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South Sudan security ‘deport’ American journalist to Uganda

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An American freelance journalist working for the US-based Associated Press (AP) has been forced to leave the country by South Sudan’s National Security’s agents.

Justin Lynch, who has been working in South Sudan since July this year, was picked up by people who identified themselves as ‘agents’ and they reportedly took him to Juba International Airport and placed him on a plane destined for Ugandan capital, Kampala.

The South Sudan News Agency has been told that Lynch’s ‘deportation’ is a result of his numerous reports which include recent documented ethnically targeted killings in and around Equatoria region and other part of the country.

South Sudanese Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth told the Associated Press that he has no knowledge of Lynch’s deportation.

South Sudan’s government has a history of arresting and torturing journalists, closing newspapers and other human rights violations, the media says.

SPLA-IO Spokesman Col. William Gatjiath.

Meanwhile, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) has refuted claims by South Sudan national army (SPLA) spokesman Lul Ruai Koang on social media that the rebel forces who captured Juluce Tabule, the Commissioner of Kangapo County of Yei River State over the weekend, now demand that the government pays a US$2.5 million ransom in exchange for the detained commissioner.

‘This is to inform the people of South Sudan, region and the international community that armed terrorists affiliated to Warmonger Riek Mach[ar] have demanded $2.5 million in order to release Mr. Julius-Tabule Commissioner of Kangapo- County in Yei River State whom they abducted over the weekends with his three bodyguards’, Koang wrote on his Facebook page today.

In response, the SPLA-IO blasted Koang for calling the armed opposition ‘terrorists’, adding that the claim of the ransom is part of ‘government outrageous propaganda it has been feeding the people of South Sudan and the international community for years’.

In the statement, the SPLA-IO says South Sudanese and the international community should know that the armed opposition is fighting for a cause and that the claim of ransom is false, adding that Tabule is being treated like any other prisoners in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Unity States.

“We refute these unfounded allegations, we have never asked for any ransom since the war broke out, we are fighting for a cause, and we will never ask for a ransom,” the senior rebel officer said.

“This is just one of government dirty propagandas. The people of South Sudan and the world know exactly how Juba talks,” he asserted.

The armed opposition calls the accusations ‘misleading’ and warned that the detained government official would soon declare his defection to the SPLM/A-IO.

“The claim by the government of South Sudan is a misleading nature or propaganda and we would like to inform the general public that the captive is in a good care, healthy and being kept in safe-conduct by the administration of the SPLA/IO. It would be his decision to join the SPLA/IO and announce his defection to the people movement in the coming few days,” the statement added.

The office of the rebel military spokesperson described Mr. Koang as “somebody who can lie even if he knows what he is saying is a pure lie.”

 

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