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AWEIL - 17 Jan 2013

SPLA soldier kills 7 people in rampage in Aweil East

A South Sudanese soldier shot dead seven people including four children and burnt down houses of his victims in Omdurman Boma near Warawar market in Aweil East County of Northern Bahr al-Ghazel state on Tuesday and Wednesday

Sources connect two separate killings over the last three days: an attack on a house Tuesday, killing a woman and four children, and an attack Wednesday against two men riding a motorbike. The gunman suspected in these killings is still at large.

According to different eyewitnesses speaking to Radio Tamazuj, the killings came after a dispute over unfinished payment of cows for marriage between the killer and the family of his wife. The rampage is said to have begun with a hunt for his rival, the man who was given his wife after paying the full brideprice for her.

One local source said that the soldier Dut Deng paid 4 cows for his wife but her parents gave her to another man who paid 11 cows. The witness who spoke in favor of the parents of the girl said the parents’ actions were in line with the Dinka customary law.

“Dut Deng intended to kill the man who took his wife, unfortunately he found him not at home. He found the first wife of the man who took his wife at home with her four children. He shot them dead and burnt the houses,” said one family member of victims.

The gunman also was blamed for killing about 20 goats or sheep, which burnt in the houses, and destroying 16 sacks of sorghum.

He added that he believed the SPLA soldier was still searching for his taken wife and the man who took her.

Meanwhile, other sources siad on Wednesday the same man came to nearby houses and found two young men riding a motorbike and shot them dead. He then proceeded to the bush searching.

The state authorities sent at least a dozen military police to go after the killer in order to calm the situation because the citizens near those areas are in fear.

The local director of the RRC, a government organ for liaison with foreign aid workers, has advised organizations to suspend their activities in Omdurman, Rumaker and Warlang areas until the soldier is apprehended.

Update: Mass killer in Aweil East dies in shootout with police (21 January 2013)