28th May 2023
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SSPDF court martial opens trial of several soldiers in Yei County

Author: Michael Daniel | Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Soldiers a ccused of committing crimes in Yei appear in court martial/ courtesy photo

The SSPDF General Court Martial in Yei has started the trial of dozens of soldiers accused of committing crimes against civilians since 2019 in the area.

The individual suspects, according to Lieutenant Colonel Michael Machar who is SSPDF’s Civil-Military Relations and Public Information officer, are charged with various crimes.

“It has been long and they have started their work yesterday,” he said

He told Eye Radio that the crimes include seven murders, five rape cases, and other sexually-related violence.

“The cases are thirty one,  seven  are murder cases and five are rape cases, and the rest of the cases are military-nature cases,” said the officer.

The unnamed men in uniform are being tried under the South Sudan 2008 Penal Act and SPLA 2009 Act.

The General Court Martial is comprised of six members including three women.

Speaking to Eye Radio from Yei town this morning, Colonel Machar confirmed the court process started since Saturday, saying it will last for a month.

“The court will go for one month until these cases are competed,

“Most of these cases happened in Yei particularly in areas of Lasu, Morsak and Umbasi, and we can generally say they happened in Yei actually,”he added.

This is not the first-time soldiers in Yei have been tried for committing offenses against the locals.

Last year, dozens of military personnel were convicted of different prison terms for similar crimes and abuses against civilians.

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