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National security arrests Aweil official for defecting to opposition

By Hou Akot Hou

The national security services operatives in Aweil town have arrested Gabriel Bol Dut who recently defected to the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in opposition (SPLM-IO).

 Garang Wol Kon, secretary general for SPLM-IO in Aweil town confirmed to Juba Echo Bol’s arrest on Thursday afternoon.

Wol said that they immediately rushed to where he was detained but the security officials denied them access to Bol.

“They took him yesterday and we asked them to release him but they refused. He is being held in Aweil town security premises,” he said on Friday.

Bona Bak Apeny, the state party director for information, culture and communication and Gabriel Bol Dut, the assistant director for state affairs in the SPLM party led by President Salva Kiir crossed over to SPLM-IO on 17th June. The officials cited lack of internal democracy for their defection.

 “They are unhappy with the two giants simply because the two are talking about the missing services. Bona raised genuine concerns such as lack of communication network in his area at Ayaai area in Aweil South County and Bol is also having genuine concerns which pushed them away,” Wol said.

He disclosed Bol could have been arrested for criticizing the SPLM party leadership in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State on his Facebook page.

 “Freedom of expression is everyone’s ultimate right and they can’t be detained for that. They are looking for Bona Bak Apeny as well but these are all unconstitutional procedures,” Wol said.

The SPLM and the rival SPLM-IO are set to compete in the upcoming national elections slated for December 2024.

The SPLM-IO led by First Vice President Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon split in December 2013 from the mainstream SPLM under President Salva Kiir, leading to conflict which killed tens of thousands and displaced millions both internally and externally.

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