Telephone Kuku still Detained by SPLA Intelligence

The Netherlands
31 December, 2010

by N. op 't Ende

There has been little news from Southern Kordofan and this is all the more remarcable as the referendum approaches rapidly and the position of the Nuba people will be changed dramatically once the South has seceded.

If the fate of Telephone Kuku is any indication of where the Nuba will stand in relationship to the new state of South Sudan, it does not spell good news. Kuku gas been detained by SPLA intelligence since April this year. No charges have been brought against him.

A friend reminded me of his detention a few days ago. "Their first political prisoner," he called the once prominent Nuba officer; "they jailed him just for asking publicly if the Nuba should not have some kind of representation in the Government of South Sudan."

Whether this request in itself has any merit, or whether there were other reasons why he was taken into custody is of little importance: noone should be locked up for seven or eigth months without any charges.

Speculation is cheap: perhaps the SPLA in Juba are just doing their Nuba allies a favour by keeping Telephone Kuku out of the way - they don't seem particularly keen to intervene on his behalf. It would tell a different story about the relationship between SPLA Juba and SPLA Nuba but it would be no reason to cheer.

With the referendum only weeks away, Kuku's detention should be food for thought to all who look forward to the indepence of South Sudan.

Happy New year!


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