JUBA – At least two people have been killed after fresh clashes occurred over land in the Juba’s neighborhood of Sherikat on Wednesday morning, police authorities in the South Sudan’s capital have said.
Maj. Gen. Daniel Justin, the spokesman of South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS), said the armed confrontation occurred when a committee formed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit visited the area.
Their mission, the police spokesman said, was to access and demolish illegally built houses by land grabbers in the Juba suburb, but the land grabbers decided to resist and clash with the committee.
“This morning, clashes occurred between the Land Demolishing Committee, which went to the ‘Kuberi Timan’ area for the purpose of demolishing some houses,” Maj. Gen. Daniel Justin told Juba-based Eye Radio.
“The committee found resistance from the residents there, which led to the clashes. As a result, there were casualties, two people were killed. Our police forces and other organized forces are now in the area. And an investigation is underway to find out the circumstances of the accident,” he added.
“I want to assure you that the accident happened this morning in Gumbo Sherikat on the Timan Bridge on the way to Mugiri,” he concluded.
But some an unnamed citizen said the government did not serve them with a notice regarding the demolition and claimed that it was the presidential team’s security guards that opened the fire on unarmed civilians.
“Those people came and told our chief to inform us that they are going to demolish the houses with bulldozer, immediately they start demolishing our houses. We told them that we are South Sudanese; give us some time and chance to remove our children from the houses,” he said.
“They didn’t give us chance instead they demolished the houses – housing pregnant women and lactating mothers. They shot my sister in front of me. She is now lying on the ground as you can see,” he added.