The Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition(SPLM/IO) led by former South Sudanese vice president has condemned the death sentence for a South African national by the Juba government.
On Friday court sentenced William John Endley, a South African national to death by hanging, after being convicted of spying, illegal entry to South Sudan and conspiracy to overthrow President Salva Kiir’s government.
In a statement by the SPLA/IO deputy military spokesperson Col.Lam Paul Gabriel it was unconstitutional and unfair to sentence Endley,who is at rank of Major General in the South African army.
“This is not because he is guilty but because the regime in Juba wants to punish Dr. Riek Machar,”said Col.Lam.
The rebels say the act of sentencing Endley to death was a clear indicator that the Juba government is determined to wipe out anyone related to their leader,Dr.Machar.
Endley worked for rebel leader Riek Machar as a security adviser before he was arrested in August 2016, days after fighting between government forces and Machar’s bodyguards broke out in Juba.
On Friday, the South African national was sentenced to serve two consecutive prison terms of nine years and four months each, after which he will be hanged.
However,the Machar rebels say the charges against Endley are just trumped up because he has been instrumental in brokering peace in Africa’s youngest nation.
“Endley met the SPLM/A IO Chairman and Commander in Chief Dr. Riek Machar in Addis Ababa
after the peace agreement was signed in 2015 and he was asked to assist in training of the amalgamated forces of both SPLA (IO) and SPLA IG to a professional Army of South Sudan.”
” They went to Juba to implement the peace agreement not to remove the president as claimed by the regime,”Machar’s group says.
They say the government in Juba does not have powers to sentence Endley to death.
“Instead, the regime should release him with the rest of political prisoners and prisoners of war.”
They say the sentence is a violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed on 21st December 2017.
This is the second person in a period less than a month to be sentenced to death by Salva Kiir’s government.
Early this month,court sentenced South Sudan rebel spokesman James Gatdet Dak to death by hanging after being found guilty of treason and other crimes against the state.