Kenya negotiates release of 7 South Sudan detainees, grants asylum
29 January 2014, 17:02
Nairobi - Seven South Sudan political detainees have been released to Kenya where they have been handed asylum, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced.
The seven, part of a group of 11 have been the sticking point in talks between the two sides led by president Salva Kiir and rebels led by former vice president Riik Machar.
During talks on a ceasefire in Ethiopia, the rebels had insisted that there would be no truce until freedom for the 11 was secured.
That has now come to fruition, with the seven taking part in a press conference together with president Kenyatta at State House Nairobi Wednesday.
" We have secured the release of the seven detainees and they have been granted asylum in Kenya, Kenyatta said.
" I and on behalf of other east African nations thank president Kiir for supporting the initiative to have a safe and war free South Sudan with the release of the seven, he added.
The fate of the remaining four is uncertain, with reports stating that they are still in the custody of the government of South Sudan and will face charges of plotting to derail a democratically elected government.
" We feel no bitterness towards the president and recognise him as the valid leader of South Sudan, John Luok Lok, speaking on behalf of the released detainees said.
President Kenyatta added that the onus was still on the two sides to ensure that there is peace and harmony that citizens of South Sudan deserve after fighting for independence.
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