Religious and Political Leaders Call for Unconditional Release of Acholi Premier
BY Northern Era Team
GULU. Religious and Political leaders in Acholi Sub Region, under their umbrella, Acholi Religious Leader’s Peace Initiative (ARLPI), have called for the safe release of the abducted Acholi Prime Minister Ambrose Olaa and others.
Mr Olaa was abducted on Tuesday along with eight other colleagues from Yambio County in Gbudwe state in south western South Sudan by suspected rebels while they were on field work.
He had been doing a consultancy work on peace building with World Vision International in South Sudan since March this year.
Chairperson, Acholi Religious Leader’s Peace Initiative (ARLPI), Archbishop of Gulu archdiocese Dr John Baptist Odama said let whoever has abducted the Acholi Prime Minister and others should release them immediately there is no need to keep them in captivity.
“The abducted persons are innocent, they are peace makers and human rights promoters not engaged in any war and it’s on that note that they should be set them free,” he said
He added that such abductions might jeopardize the peace process that is underway to see peace returns to the youngest nation.
Lamwo District Chairperson Mr John Thomas Ogwok, appealed to whoever is behind this abduction to reconsider the interest and release whoever abducted the peace builders to unconditionally set them free because the Acholi community are restless.
“We are in despair of our very own and we hope that he gets back without any harm,” he said
LCV Chairperson Amuru district, Michael Lakony appealed to government to directly talk to the rebels to release him but not to forceful hunt for his release to avoid bloodshed.
At the moment United Nation Mission in South Sudan [UNMISS] and World Vision International have taken lead in the negotiation for safe release of Mr Olaa and his colleagues, according to the Deputy Prime Minister Acholi Prime minister Mr Emmanuel Lagedo.
Mr Lagedo said reports from UNMISS and World Vision officials who have been in contact with the rebel forces indicates the abductees are safe and were not tortured.
“I’m happy that the UN and World vision officials in South Sudan are negotiating for the safe release of Mr Olaa and his colleagues. All information we are getting are positive that they will be released without any harm,” Mr Lagedo said.
The Fourth Infantry Division Spokesperson Maj Telesphor Turyamumanya told northern Era that , security reports they got indicates the rebel forces are demanding for some amount of money for release of the abductees.
He said the abduction never only targeted Mr Olaa and his team adding that 50 other people are being detained by the rebels.
“The abduction is purely for financial gains, they want some money before they set free the abductees,” Maj Turyamumanya said they suspect the rebels could be those in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition but noted they are still establishing more facts.
“We are optimistic that they will be set free since the Humanitarian agencies have entered into negotiation with the rebels, we are liaising with our counterparts in South Sudan to ensure our citizens are safe,” Maj Turyamumanya said.