Kennedy Abwao and Kristin Palitza
Displayed with permission from dpa German Press Agency

Nairobi (dpa) – The spokesman of South Sudan’s rebel movement was about to be deported from Kenya, the movement said Thursday, hours after announcing the man had been kidnapped in the capital, Nairobi.

James Gatdet Dak was being detained at Nairobi’s airport and was facing deportation to South Sudan « without charges, » the deputy spokesman of the Sudan’s People Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) said in a statement.

Gatdet was to board a plane to South Sudan’s capital, Juba, in the afternoon, the deputy spokesman said, calling on the Kenyan government to immediately release Gatdet.

Unknown, uniformed gunmen had detained Gatdet on Wednesday afternoon at his home in Nairobi, according to the SPLM/A-IO, which said it suspects South Sudanese security officials and Kenyan gangs of being behind the « kidnapping. »

SPLM/A-IO leader Riek Machar is meanwhile believed to be in South Africa, where he received medical treatment after fleeing fighting in July.

Machar first fled the fighting to Congo, from where he moved on to Sudan’s capital Khartoum for treatment.

A power struggle between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Machar escalated into a military conflict in December 2013. Tens of thousands have been killed and about 2.5 million displaced.

The two sides formed a unity government in April, with Machar reinstated as vice president. But renewed fighting erupted in July, dashing hopes of peace.

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