By: RISDEL KASASIRA
Kampala: The seven coup suspects who were freed last week and handed over to the Kenyan government might be extradited to Juba for trial if the South Sudan government “finds it necessary” an official has said.
South Sudan Ambassador Samuel Luate Lominsuk told journalists in Kampala yesterday that investigations against the seven men over the alleged coup attempt in December last year are still ongoing. “We will request the government of Kenya to handover the suspects to South Sudan authorities should the government uncover incriminating evidence that implicates the suspects in the failed coup,” Mr Lominsuk said.
S. Sudan government last week released seven out of 11 detainees arrested over an alleged coup attempt that resulted into widespread violence across the country. The suspects were handed over to the Kenyan government as a concession for the ceasefire agreement with the rebels.
The other four are still in prison in Juba and Mr Luminsuk claims they have evidence incriminating the quartet for being involved in the planning of the alleged coup attempt. Dr Riek Machar and two others; Taban Deng Gai and Alfred Ladu Gore will face treason, an allegation Dr Machar has described as “nonsense”.
Ambassador Lominsuk insists the threats to try Dr Machar will not jeopardise the agreement that resulted into cessation of hostilities. “I don’t think the planned trial will sabotage the peace process. He has committed crimes and he must face trial,” he said.
Dr Machar has accused the Ugandan government of fuelling the conflict following deployment of Ugandan forces to fight alongside S. Sudan government troops, but Lominsuk says UPDF should not withdraw. “Anyone who is asking when Uganda troops will be leaving South Sudan is not helpful,” he said.