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KHARTOUM - 13 Jun 2019

SPLM-IO calls for immediate release of Biar and Kerbino

Peter Biar (R) and Kerbino Wol (L) at the courtroom in Juba, June 11, 2019. Radio Tamazuj
Peter Biar (R) and Kerbino Wol (L) at the courtroom in Juba, June 11, 2019. Radio Tamazuj

The opposition group Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) on Wednesday called for the immediate release of prominent activist Peter Biar Ajak and businessman Kerbino Wol who were sentenced to jail terms in Juba.

Biar was slapped with two years and Wol got 15 years following accusations that they threatened the security of the state.

Five other co-accused received five years each.

The main opposition group, as part of resolutions it adopted at the end of a consultative meeting from June 9-12 in Khartoum, called on the government to immediately release the seven prisoners, saying the trials are political.

It also urged the government to release the other political prisoners as per the September 2018 peace agreement.

The SPLM-IO also called on the regional IGAD grouping to release its leader Riek Machar from forced confinement.

The consultative meeting, the opposition group said, aimed at reviewing the progress and challenges in the implementation of the revitalized peace deal.

It welcomed the agreement to delay the formation of a transitional government for six months to implement pending tasks.

The group, however, urged government to approve a budget for the implementation of the pending activities as provided for in the peace agreement.

Last month, South Sudan’s rival parties agreed on a six-month extension to implement next steps in the fragile peace agreement.

The extension came after the country’s main opposition group threatened to boycott formation of a unity government on May 12.

A recent report from the United Nation panel of experts showed the young nation still faces significant challenges, despite reduced fighting.