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JUBA - 6 Feb 2018

Agriculture minister accused of blocking lawmaker from attending peace talks

File photo: Agriculture minister Deng Alor
File photo: Agriculture minister Deng Alor

A South Sudanese lawmaker said the agriculture minister Onyoti Adigo connived with national security officials to deny him a chance to attend the ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa.

Security agents at the Juba International Airport on Sunday blocked Andrew Okony who was representing a coalition of national political parties from boarding an airplane to travel to Addis Ababa, where peace talks are being chaired by IGAD mediators.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Monday, Okony said he was under interrogation at the National Security’s office in Jebel for about four hours after his passport and air ticket were confiscated by the officers.

Okony added that he was informed by the security officers that the national minister of agriculture, Onyoti Adigo, ordered them not to allow him to travel as he had been dismissed from the SPLM-DC party, a claim Okony denied.

The lawmaker accused Adigo of using the party’s internal disputes to further his own agendas and defend his position.

Okony urged the security agents not to interfere in internal party politics.

The SPLM-DC party split into two after a power struggle after the former leader Lam Akol resigned and formed a rebel movement.