President Uhuru Kenyatta on the spot as United Nations asks the governments of Kenya and South Sudan to reveal the whereabouts of two South Sudanese human rights activists abducted in Kenya. PHOTO/PSCU
By PATRICK MAYOYO
United Nations expert group on enforced disappearances* has called on the governments of Kenya and South Sudan to reveal the fate of two South Sudanese human rights activists who were abducted in Kenya last month.
There has been no word of the men – Dong Samuel Luak, a human rights activist from South Sudan who had been given refugee status in Kenya, and Aggrey Idri Ezibon, chair of the SPLM-IO’s Humanitarian Affairs Committee- since they were abducted in Nairobi, reportedly with the involvement of security personnel from both Kenya and South Sudan.
Dong Samuel Luak was on his way to board a bus when he was abducted on 23 January and he was last seen in Nairobi town centre. Aggrey Idri Ezibon was last seen on 24 January in the Kilimani neighbourhood of Nairobi at approximately 8:00 am.
“The ongoing hearings and recent arrest warrant issued for a suspect linked to these disappearances are positive steps in the right direction,” noted the human rights experts.
“However, efforts must be stepped up so as to ensure credible investigations, including into the alleged role of Kenya security agents, and promptly establish the whereabouts of the two men,” they said – emphasising that enforced disappearance is a heinous crime and an offence to human dignity.
The expert group also called on the authorities in Kenya and South Sudan to guarantee the safety and protection of the men and afford protection to witnesses who can help establish their whereabouts. Both individuals are members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition (SPLM/AIO).
The Working Group stressed any return of the activists or deportation to South Sudan would be in violation of Article 8 of the 1992 UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The measure prohibits the return of a person to any State where there are substantial grounds to believe that he would be in danger of enforced disappearance.