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RUMBEK - 24 Mar 2019

Security forces arrest ruling party official in Rumbek

A senior local official of South Sudan's ruling SPLM party was arrested on Saturday in Western Lakes State for unclear reasons, a government source said.

Chol Dut Ajieng, the secretary of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Western Lakes State, was taken away from his home by security agents on Saturday night, the government source told Radio Tamazuj on Sunday.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there is no official information from the authorities why Dut was arrested. 

He explained that the party official was arrested from his home at Malual-Akan neighborhood in the town of Rumbek, and taken to an undisclosed location.

He claimed Dut was arrested on the orders of the state governor John Deng Mamer. "Security forces of the governor arrived in a Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle and arrested Dut. We are really worried about Dut’s health condition because he was beaten during his arrest,” he said.

Officials from the state government were not immediately reachable for comment.

Earlier this month, former Western Lakes state parliament speaker Marik Nanga Marik was arrested in Rumbek town.

South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution requires detainees to be produced before a court within 24 hours and even in times of conflict international law requires that a detainee be brought before a judicial authority within a few days of arrest.