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South Sudan leader frees commander
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Jan 6, 2009 - 12:24:00 AM

South Sudan leader frees commander

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Salva Kiir. Photo/FILE 

By GODFFREY OLALI, Nation Reporter, and AgenciesPosted Monday, January 5 2009 at 18:29


A high-ranking commander in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has been released after more than a year and a half in detention.

Major General Isaac Obuto Mamur Mete was released in Juba after weeks of private meetings with the President of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir, who is also the SPLA Commander-in-Chief.

He was reinstated to his former position as deputy chief of staff for political and moral orientation. The released general who is an Equatorian commander, had been arrested on March 20, 2007 on charges of administrative misconduct. He faced a court-martial and reportedly was released following a decision by the military court.

He appeared publicly for the first time in Kator cathedral in Juba, accompanied by his wife Mary and 12 children. Immediately after his release, the disgraced general hailed President Kiir for a decisive decision and appealed to all his followers and supporters to maintain calm.

“I’m not afraid of military detention. If I fought for 21 years to free ourselves from oppression and exploitation by Arabised northern Sudanese, why not accept detention by fellow comrades with same objective?” he posed after his release. Supporters rejoiced at his release but four people were killed by unknown gunmen as he was released.

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