President Salva Kiir has described as rumours reports of revenge attacks in Bor town following last week’s killing of civilians in Shirikaat, Juba.
On Wednesday, eyewitnesses at Sherikat residential area in Juba told Eye Radio that the SSPDF officer – Lual Akook, arrived at the bus park and allegedly started shooting civilians indiscriminately over a land dispute, killing five and wounding seven others.
The incident led to a protest in Sherikat and Bor town where hundreds of residents went on streets demanding justice for the victims.
But a statement from Lual Marine’s family later refuted the narrative saying their son was caught off-guard by a mob while in a meeting to resolve a land dispute in Shirikaat.
Lieutenant Colonel Lual – who was President Salva Kiir’s relative – was later pronounced dead after suffering injuries that evening.
Rumours were circulated on social media that the indigenous of Bor town, the Bor community, turned on people from the Bahr el Ghazal region in a purported revenge attack.
However, authorities in Bor town denied such reports saying the youths who were only involved in protests over the Skirikaat incident were arrested to quell tensions.
On Sunday, June 7, a committee to investigate the fatal Shirikaat incident was sworn in at the State House in Juba.
The 7-member committee will among others, conduct hearings and interview witnesses.
It shall also ascertain any credible evidence that may sustain prosecution against any suspect and issue warrant of arrest for any person.
Speaking during the oath-taking event in Juba, President Salva Kiir cautioned the public against inciting violence among the communities of Bor and Bahr el Ghazal.
“Just like it was heard on social media that Bar el Ghazal people in Bor are being killed by the Bor people which did not happen. So far we have not heard of anybody who had died in Bor,” Kiir affirmed.
Kiir emphasized on the unity of people from Bor and Bahr el Ghazal dating back to the liberation struggle. President Kiir, who is from Bahr el Ghazal, was a longterm deputy to then SPLM Chairman, Dr. John Garang who hails from Greater Bor of Jonglei.
The two leaders formed the nucleus of the SPLM Political-Military might. They have never parted ways, although their friendship was tested in 2004 over political matters. They immediately reconciled in the famous Rumbek meeting to usher in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.
“The people who might have fought in Sherikaat are one people and they have been one people since the struggle started in 1983, they were fighting side by side against the enemy and whatever good number of people that might have come from the diaspora cannot come and change the direction that we have been moving to,” President Kiir stressed.
Kiir’s appointment of constitutional postholders and promotions within the military have since 2005 largely included leaders from Bor community. They include Kuol Manyang, Michael Makuei, Rebecca Nyandeng, Gabriel Jok Riak, among others.
He says he has not received any information regarding retaliatory attacks against people from Bahr el Ghazal in Bor town.
“I formed a committee to investigate these issues in Bor, and if there had been any loss of life or property in Bor we will have to investigate it also,” the President said.
President Kiir said the committee should quickly find suspects and present them before a court.
“If there are people who are found guilty of anything in this incident, they will be taken to court so that they will become an example,” Kiir stressed.
The committee is headed up by the Minister of justice and constitutional affairs.
Other members include Chief of Defense Forces, Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of the Internal Security Bureau, Director of Military Intelligence, Director of Public Prosecution, and an Advocate.
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