, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 2 – A Kenyan pilot who had been detained in South Sudan for 36 days for allegedly airlifting a rebel leader out of the country has been released.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed who has been instrumental in the negotiations tweeted that Captain Francis Ruto Langat arrived in Nairobi Friday evening after his release from a Juba prison earlier in the day.
South Sudanese authorities accused Langat of aiding former minister Peter Adwok Nyaba out of Rumbek to Nairobi without official clearance.
Nyaba, a close ally of rebel leader and former Vice President Riek Machar, had just been released from prison for alleged involvement in an attempted coup against President Salva Kiir but was under restrictions by authorities not to leave the country.
Langat is the second Kenyan pilot to be held in South Sudan this year. In June, a Kenyan pilot was detained by rebels in the troubled Jonglei state but was released a month later after intervention by the Kenyan government.
The rebels had accused the pilot, of planning to assassinate top rebel leader commander Major General Simon Gatwech Dual and the White Army’s spiritual leader, David Dak Kueth at the request of South Sudan President Salva Kiir.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused Machar of plotting to overthrow his regime.