JUBA – At least three innocent civilians have been killed by soldiers allegedly belonging to South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in Kiri village in Kajo-Keji County of Central Equatoria state.
Kiri is a Boma belonging to Kangapo 2 Payam of Kajo-Keji County and it has been under the control of government forces since the rebellion of General Thomas Cirilo in 2016 despite multiple incidents in which NAS forces clashed with government troops.
One eyewitness who preferred not to be named said seven SSPDF soldiers found one of their colleagues dead one of their colleagues who was drunk the previous night dead in the morning under unclear circumstances and arrested a number of villagers including three young men who were taken to a nearby Bush for questioning.
The three young men were later on found by villagers – who heard gunshots – dead, apparently after being shot.
“Yesterday, 26 of May 2022, seven soldiers from the government forces of South Sudan found their friend who was drunk the following night, dead and then the seven soldiers came to Kiri Buma here and arrested three people,” one eye witness told Sudans Post on phone.
“Ten minutes after they were taken, we heard gunshots and when we when into the scene one hour later, we found out that they were all killed and the soldiers as they were returning to the barrack took three other women with them including a sister of one of the victims,” the villager added.
Another community leader who also requested not to be named for fear of reprisal said he was saddened by the actions of the national army that is supposed to protect them and stressed that the killing of innocent civilians by the army was making it difficult for refugees to return to their areas of origin.
“This is very hard to take and I am saddened and I think none of the people who are in the refugee camp and who have heard this incident will not come back because the lack of security in the area will make it hard for returnees to come back to their land,” the community leader said.
“So, I am calling on the government of South Sudan to revisit how it discipline soldiers so that they don’t commit crimes that in one way or another dismiss the government position that it is normalizing the situation as part of that peace agreement which is being implemented,” the community leader added.
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