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JUBA - 12 Feb 2018

Kiir's close ally prevented from flying to Uganda

File photo
File photo

A former state governor was barred from boarding a flight to neighboring Uganda by security officials at Juba airport on Saturday.

Former governor of South Sudan’s Fangak State James Kok Ruei told Radio Tamazuj today that security officials provided no explanation for why the government refused to allow him to travel to Uganda.

“I was stopped from travelling to Uganda by internal security officials. They told me that they had received orders from higher authorities that I should not travel,” Kok said.

“After we got on the plane and the plane was about to take off, the pilot was asked to stop. The security officers came and said they want James Kok to get out of the plane, so I got out of the plane and returned home,” he added.

Kok, a close ally of President Salva Kiir, said he was not given any written letter explaining why he was barred from travelling abroad.

“The security officials said the order came from higher authorities. I think the order came from Akol Koor,” he said.

The former top official in the Kiir administration denied reports that he having links with the country’s former army chief Paul Malong who was recently declared a rebel by the government in Juba. “Those who are spreading rumours want to cause problems. I have no links with Malong and I don’t have Malong’s phone number even,” he said.

James Kok had served as the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management and later a Member of Parliament representing Fangak County in Jonglei State.

Kok had also worked as the minister of foreign trade in Khartoum after the 2005 peace agreement.