JUBA – A community in South Sudan’s Warrap State has petitioned governor, Aleu Ayieny Aleu for his alleged involvement in a spate of extrajudicial killings in the area, accusations that he denies.
More than 100 people, including lawmakers, civil society organisations as well intellectuals from the area, signed a petition from the Apuk Padoc community.
The community, in the petition extended to the Sudan Tribune, claimed that the governor instructed Captain Madut Akol Lual to kill two people they identified as Majok Mawan Thuc Lual and Dol Manyang Dol on November 12.
The community’s petition urged President Salva Kiir and members of the two legislative assemblies to discourage extrajudicial killing practices in the country.
“Extrajudicial killings have no place in a democracy that constitutionally guarantees against the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and the presumption of innocence. Extrajudicial killings have no place in a democracy that gives to the courts the sole power to adjudge guilt and mete out punishment,” partly reads the strongly-worded petition.
“Therefore, we believe such actions are inhuman and sectional-oriented policies,” it added.
The petitioners urged the national assembly to form an independent committee of inquiry to visit the area of the incident to witness and investigate the matter.
“We are appealing to the August House to summon Governor Aleu Ayieny to answer for this crime he committed to our innocent persons”, noted the petition.
In an interview with the Sudan Tribune on Monday, the former commissioner of the now-defunct Akop county, Karlo Maluil Makuek described the execution of these two innocent citizens as “unfair and amounted to extra Judicial killings”.
He said the alleged extrajudicial killings were against the supreme law of the country since the victims were not taken to the court and charged if found guilty.
“Our brothers were accused of theft, yet no material evidence was found in their hands. No cow, no money, no goat, sheep, chicken, or foodstuff were found with them. The fact is that these victims were soldiers of Division 11, based in Majak Tiit Military Division HQRS, Warrap State. The division authorities were not informed,” said Makuek.
“As a community, we make a public stand against the bloodbath involving the extrajudicial killing of innocent people. We stand against extrajudicial killings and for the rule of law, we support the call on the government to “give due attention to the serious and credible investigation and resolution of these incidents and the prosecution of the wrongdoers to the full extent of the law”, he stressed.
For his part, Warrap State Information minister, Riing Deng Ading cleared the governor of any wrongdoing, claiming the two men allegedly killed on orders of the governor were attacked by unknown criminals and investigation is ongoing.
“I would like to dispute propagandas being circulated in social media by anti-peace complainers that Warrap state has executed two people in recent days in Warrap town,” Ading said.
“This is not true. It is unfounded information aimed at tarnishing the image of Warrap State government as well as destabilizing harmony in the state,” he added.
In July 2021, the New York-based Human Rights Watch accused South Sudanese security forces of summarily executing at least eight suspected criminals, including two children, as part of anti-crime campaigns in Warrap state.
The executions, it said, were allegedly carried out on orders of the state governor.
The rights body urged South Sudanese authorities to immediately halt and ensure justice for unlawful killings, which constitute serious violations of international law.