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South Sudan's official calls for calm after arrest of senior army officer

JUBA -- The chairperson of the South Sudan's peace and reconciliation commission, Chuol Rambang Chol, has called on the youth across the country to avoid inciting inter-communal conflicts in response to the recent arrest of a senior army officer.

The call took place on Sunday after the arrest of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, who is accused of having link with the troubled Jonglei state's rebel leader, David Yauyau. The detention resulted to fierce criticism and inter-communal accusations among the youth.

The peace commission's chairperson, Rambang, on Sunday while addressing the Nuer congregation of the Presbytery Church, appealed to the youth groups in the various communities, particularly the Nuer youth, to remain calm until an investigation is carried out into the allegations.

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Rambang who also hails from the Lou-Nuer community told the congregation that there was no reason for the youth in the two communities to react in the manner they did in the internet publications, saying the accusations will be handled in a peaceful legal manner.

Gatwech who hails from the Lou-Nuer community in Uror County in Jonglei state was also allegedly connected to a rumoured coup plot to topple the President Salva Kiir.

One of the most criticisms against his arrest came from a published letter purportedly written by the Nuer Youth Executive Committee who said the accusations against Gatwech were "baseless" and might have carried tribal motivations on the side of the accuser.

The youth said they were responding to a publication by the Jieng Community Association who also published an accusation against Maj. Gen. Bol Kong of equally having link with the fugitive Lou-Nuer spiritual leader, Dak Kueth.

They questioned the interest behind the Jieng community in particular to involve in the military affairs on such serious accusations and demanded the immediate release of the General.

President Salva Kiir confirmed that the report he received implicated Maj. Gen. Gatwech in the alleded anti-government moves in South Sudan.

The grandson of the Nuer prophet Ngundeng Bong, who also lived in the present day in Jonglei and died more than a hundred years ago, also in a public letter directed to President Kiir, demanded the unconditional release of Maj. Gen. Gatwech.

Gai Lel Ngundeng, a Canadian South Sudanese, however called for calm to contain the situation from sliding into an inter-communal conflict.

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