JUBA – South Sudan’s prominent and outspoken activist Edmund Yakani has condemned Thursday’s murder of medical doctor at a health facility by suspected Jonglei state cattle keepers following spike of violence between locals and Jonglei state pastoralists.
Dr. Patrick Tongun who was in his late 50s was dragged out of a health facility in an area in Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria state and was killed after the suspected cattle keepers cut his throat using a knife.
The gruesome killing sparked social media outrage among activists and citizens with calls for the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit to address the rising insecurity in most parts of the country that has seen communities fighting themselves.
In a statement, Yakani who is also the Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) condemned the killing and described the gruesome murder as unacceptable and urged the government and security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.
“The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization strongly condemned the murder of the medical doctor of Olikuri Health Centre. This is unacceptable act and it constitutes human rights abuse and extra-judiciary killing. The government security agencies should bring the perpetrators to book immediately,” Yakani said in the statement.
“The targeted killings or extra-judiciary killings in Eastern Equatoria around long Juba-Nimule road is on raise and the perpetrators walk away with the crimes. Since the escalation of frictions between the farmers and pastoralists in and around Magwi county incidences of targeted killing or extra-judiciary killing are on arise seriously. This act of slaughtering individual to death and killing innocent civilians must be stop by the government agencies,” the outspoken activist added.
He said that state security agencies “should not compromise with the process of tracking perpetrators of all these recent incidences where innocent civilians are being killed at gun shot or slaughter to death in Magwi County and other parts of Eastern Equatoria state.
“It is time for rule of law to prevail in and around Magwi county situation of criminal acts. Any compromise with rule of law in the current context of violence among the communities in Magwi County and its surrounding will be grave mistake.”
While appealing for calm among the community and family of the late medical doctor, Yakani urged the Eastern Equatoria state government to take responsibility and seek criminals causing havoc among the civil population there.
“CEPO is urging the communities and relative of Dr. Patrick Tongun to be calm and allow the state authorities to tackle the situation of getting the perpetrators of Dr. Patrick Tongue death. Here the state authorities should demonstrate responsibility of holding the perpetrators of Dr. Patrick Tongun accountable,” he said.
“Finally, CEPO call upon the authorities of Eastern Equatoria State to take charge of preventing criminal acts or extra-judiciary killing among the communities in and around Magwi County and Nimule. Joint Jonglei-Eastern Equatoria National parliamentarians should take some actions for preventing acts that constitute extra-judiciary or targeted killing,” he added.