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Soldiers detain family over “checkpoint fee”

Author: Priscah Akol | Published: Friday, February 28, 2020

The former commissioner of Rumbek County of the defunct Western Lakes State says he was illegally detained by soldiers for refusing to pay a “checkpoint fee.”

According to James Dhieu Mading, SSPDF soldiers stopped his vehicle and ordered his driver to pay them money.

He was traveling from Juba to Rumbek on Tuesday when soldiers waved down his vehicle at Aduel Payam.

“They checked the vehicle and when we were about to go, the soldiers said they needed money,” Mading told Eye Radio on Thursday.

When he refused to pay, the soldiers detained him and his children at an army barrack for two days.

“So, I asked them who could go against the presidential order, and they said there is no government,” he narrated the incident.

“After we left that checkpoint, we were ambushed by other soldiers along the way. They arrested the driver, my children and I.”

In 2018, President Salva Kiir ordered for closure of all illegal checkpoints, but the directive largely remained unimplemented in parts of the country.

Many businessmen and humanitarian agencies have complained of extortion at illegal checkpoints manned by soldiers along major highways across the country.

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