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UGANDA - 13 Mar 2018

Ex-South Sudanese rebel officer held more than six months in Uganda

A former South Sudanese rebel commander has been held for more than six months after being detained by Ugandan authorities.

The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) arrested Colonel John Tata in Oroba area in September 2017, and accused him of recruiting Ugandan youth, an accusation his group denies.

Colonel Tata was among the SPLA-IO breakaway group that signed a peace agreement with the government of Yei River State last year.

Brigadier General Hilary Yakani, who was the chief negotiator of the SPLA-IO breakaway group, told Radio Tamazuj on Sunday that Colonel Tata is still in detention in the area of Gulu in Uganda.

The former rebel general pointed out that the government of South Sudan through its embassy in Kamapla is working to release John Tata.

South Sudan’s ambassador to Ugandan Simon Duku declined to comment on the matter, but Ugandan officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013 after President Kiir sacked his deputy, Riek Machar.