SSDF: Gatdet Dak’s Deportation To Enemy Territory Jeopardize His Life and Lives of Kenyans in South Sudan

By Lotole Lo Luri,

Nov 07, 2016 The Kenyan government took the decision on the 2nd of November 2016 to deport Mr. James Gatdet Dak, the SPLM/A-IO spokesperson, back to Juba despite attempts by his boss to stop the deportation. It was a regrettable act which has put Mr. Dak’s life in great jeopardy.

James Gatdet Dak Dr. Riek Machar’s Spokesman

gatdet-dak

The 1951 United Nations Convention has clarified the refugee status. Article 33 ( 1 ), provides that: ” No contracting state shall expel or return (” refouler ” ) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”

The OAU Convention of 1969 regarding refugees gives expression in a binding form to a member of principles relating to asylum, including the principle on nonrefoulement. As stipulated in Article III 3: No person may be subjected by a member state to measures such as rejection at the frontier, return or expulsion which should compel him to return or remain in a territory where his life, physical integrity or liberty would be threatened for reasons set out in Article 1, paragraph 1 and 2.

The Kenyan government has previously granted Mr. Dak the refugee status making her move entirely unprecedented. It’s a clear violation of the principle of nonrefoulement, which is the cornerstone of the international refugee law. Rather than deporting Mr. Dak, it could have declared him a ” persona non grata ” and to leave Kenyan soil within a specified timeframe.

It will be then up to Mr. Dak to find where to go. More worryingly, a list of 15 people who are members of the South Sudanese opposition groups has surfaced. Those individuals are purported to be the next for deportation to South Sudan by the Kenyan government.

The South Sudan Democratic Front ( SSDF ) regrets the decision by the Kenyan authorities to hand over Mr. Dak to the regime in Juba.

Further deportations could lead to a significant damage to the relations between the South Sudanese people and the friendly people of Kenya. Although Mr. Dak is not a member of the SSDF, however, further actions in that direction could affect members of the SSDF who are residing in Kenya.  End of statement.

Lotole Lo Luri is the Deputy Press Secretary  of SSDF. He can be reached at presssecretaryssdf@gmail.com

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