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Army arrest five armed civilians for blocking Juba-Rumbek road

Author: Joakino Francis | Published: Monday, January 4, 2021

Murram road - Photo: (Courtesy).

The army has arrested five armed civilians it accused of blocking the Juba – Rumbek road last week.

The SSPDF said the suspects were apprehended after staging what appears to be a violent protest following the killing of a popular traditional wrestler.

“Three have been arrested and the other two were arrested two days,” the army reported.

According to the acting army spokesperson, Brigadier-General Santo Domic, a joint security team of the SSPDF and police arrested the suspects in Awerial County.

25-year-old Abun Long, a well-known wrestler who competed in Juba, was shot dead by the army in what the SSPDF described as “retaliatory” gunfire on December 30.

The SSPDF said tension then aroused tension in the area where the armed civilians in Awerial County blocked the road to Rumbek town.

But on Monday afternoon, the army said the road to Rumbek reopened.

The SSPDF condemned the temporary closure of the road by the civilians.

“This road is for South Sudanese and of course any inter-communal fighting should not justify the closure of the road,” Brig. Gen. Domic said, adding that the army will not tolerate such acts in the future “because roads have to be respected and all the persons on the roads have to be respected because they have nothing to do with the conflict.”

The family of Abun has accused the SSPDF of targeting and killing the wrestler while crossing the road in Awerial County last week.

But the SSPDF claimed some of its soldiers travelling in a Land Cruiser vehicle came under attack by the armed youths -prompting them to shoot back.

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