United Nations experts have asked Kenya and South Sudan to provide information about two South Sudanese men abducted from the streets of Nairobi three weeks ago.
Dong Samuel Luak, a South Sudanese refugee and human rights advocate seen in the left photo, was in downtown Nairobi heading to catch a bus when he was abducted on January 23. Aggrey Idri Ezibon, head of the South Sudanese opposition party SPLM-IO’s humanitarian affairs committee, was picked up the next day.
There has been no word of them since they were taken, reportedly by security personnel from both countries, the UN experts said in a statement. The group, which focuses on forced disappearances, is led by Houria Es-Slami of Morocco and includes members from Canada, Korea, Argentina and Lithuania.
“The ongoing hearings and recent arrest warrant issued for a suspect linked to these disappearances are positive steps in the right direction,” noted the human rights experts. “However, efforts must be stepped up so as to ensure credible investigations, including into the alleged role of Kenya security agents, and promptly establish the whereabouts of the two men.”
The Working Group stressed any return of the activists or deportation to South Sudan would be in violation of Article 8 of the 1992 UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
In November, Kenya deported James Gatdet Dak, right, the spokesman for SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar, despite appeals from international human rights groups who insisted that he was a registered United Nations refugee.
The UN OHCHR said it was “deeply concerned” about Gatdet Dak’s safety at the time, adding in its statement that his return to South Sudan represented the violation of a “cornerstone of international refugee law.” He remains missing.