South Sudan arrests adviser on minority affairs

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South Sudan has arrested a presidential adviser on minority affairs, sparking speculations trying to understand the motive necessitating the action.

Akot Lual Arech, a presidential adviser on Murle affairs but who sees himself as an advocate of the rights of minorities in the country, has been arrested, causing a row within the presidency.

Family members and relatives told Sudan Tribune he is arrested at the national prison centre in Juba. No official statement from either the office of the president or police authorities has issued a statement commenting on the cause of their actions.

Arech confirmed his arrest without providing additional information.

Presidential sources told Sudan Tribune on Monday and Tuesday the presidential aide was arrested owing to his role in the conflict riddled state of Jonglei, where years of communal conflicts have hindered development activities, representing a national security threat.

“Akot Lual was arrested on Saturday and has not been released. He is at the national prison centre in Juba. I have just come from there. I have gone to visit him and to inquire what actually happened,” said a relative on Sunday.

“Nobody has given us clear information about what happened. People we have asked in the office of the president did not want to divulge much of what they know. They are careful, making it difficult to understand what caused his arrest,” he added.

The arrest comes a month after he wrote an op-ed in which he tried to explain the motive behind his role in the Jonglei conflict, asserting that he was purely trying to find a solution to the conflict between the Dinka Bor and members of the Murle tribe.

The explanation caused him criticism from members of the Bor community, with some accusing him of having taken a side in the conflict.

Source Sudan Tribune

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