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RUMBEK - 11 Jan 2021

Four arrested over New Year's day killings in Rumbek

At least four people are detained by Lakes State authorities in connection to the death of three people at Amokpiny Payam of Rumbek Centre county on the 1st of January 2021.

Authorities say unknown gunmen attacked Gan cattle camp in Amokpiny Payam, killing two people on the spot, and another one succumbed to his injuries while receiving treatment at Rumbek Teaching Hospital.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, the deputy chairperson of the disarmament sub-committee for Rumbek Centre, Wullu and Rumbek North counties, Marik Nanga Marik, said the four are the fathers of the alleged suspects.

"We were given four names of suspected murderers. We sent the chiefs to go, trace, and bring those culprits. But the chiefs brought for us the four fathers of alleged suspects who killed people in Gan cattle camp and they are now arrested," he said.

Nanga said although investigations are ongoing, the fathers insist their sons were not involved in the killings and are innocent.

"When you are dealing with armed youth, they should be dealt with in the military barracks but I cannot disclose to media the whereabouts of the four fathers arrested in Rumbek," the official added. 

He appealed to the communities to cooperate with the state government to apprehend suspects and promote peace.

Marial Majok, one of the detainees said he was arrested last Tuesday alongside Matur Magot, Mawet Machuot, and Mabor Malual and they are being held in the detention facility at Panda military barracks in Rumbek.

"When the incident occurred in Gan cattle camp, my son was here in Rumbek, the other young men were in the village and others in the cattle camp. They have no link to the killings in Gan cattle camp," he insisted.

Majok is appealing to the disarmament sub-committee which is holding them to follow legal procedures in the case.

For his part, the chairperson of the Civil Society Organization Network (CiSON) in Rumbek Lakes State Hakim Cipuounyuoc Awur said it is unlawful for the disarmament sub-committee to arrest and detain suspects in the military barracks.

"It is the role of the law enforcement agencies; the police to investigate and arrest the suspects and not in the military barrack where civilians are being tortured, but in the prison after a judge order the arrests," Awur said. "According to human rights, it is totally wrong to arrest an innocent person on behalf of someone's crimes. That is completely wrong." 

The activist called on the national government to prioritize the complete formation of state governments so that security concerns can be handled by them.