South Sudan court sentences rebel spokesperson to death

Juba- South Sudan rebel spokesperson James Gatdet Dak was sentenced to death by hanging for treason on Monday.

“Death sentence by hanging,” Judge Ladu Armenio told Gatdet in the court in Juba, after he was found guilty of treason and other crimes against the state.

The rebel leader, Dak was deported from Kenya despite having refugee status. The sentence comes at a time as peace talks between the government and rebels take in place in neighbouring country Ethiopia, as the talks have stalled, as both sides accuse each other of  accusations of military assaults.

James Gatdek Dak is a former journalist, as he insisted he was innocent, as the judge give him a further 21 year sentence, which is expected to be served before his death sentence.

Gatdet’s lawyers pulled out his trial last month, arguing that he should have been released as part of a December peace deal in which government and rebels agreed to release of prisoners of war and political detainees.

Gatdet was deported back to South Sudan in November 2016 against international law, the UN refugee agency had expressed its concerns of Gatdet deportation and the government ignoring its concerns.

Tens of thousand of people have been killed in a fresh civil war in South Sudan after a war pitted President Salva Kiir against  his former deputy Riek Machar.

Photo Credit- The News International

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