Friday, October 10, 2014

Investigate Civilian Killings in Budi County, Urge South Sudanese Community in Kenya

Members of a South Sudanese Community in Kenya are raising an alarm over an increasing number of reported Killings of civilians allegedly by armed soldiers in Budi County, Eastern Equatoria State.

Aerial View of Chukudum, Budi County Eastern Eaquatoria State, South Sudan: photo By NPM
In a press statement released to media organizations on Wednesday 8th October 2014, the Budi County Community members have urged the Eastern Equatoria State Government to conduct thorough investigations and bring those responsible for the killings and torture of civilians in Chukudum in Budi County to justice.

They have also sought explanation from the Government on reasons behind unjustifiable indiscriminate arrests, killings, and intimidation of civilians at will by soldiers in the County.

According to the statement, armed soldiers from the South Sudan Army on Tuesday morning killed two civilians and left several others with serious injuries.

It is presumed that a clash on Monday night between some soldiers at a military camp in Chukudum claimed to have left one soldier dead might have triggered the Tuesday morning attack.

“It is not clear why the army went on a rampage, but prior to the incident, heavy gun fire was heard from the military camp in Chukudum on Monday night (6th October 2014). We cannot understand why it spiraled out to the civil population in the town. What has the civil population got to do with the clash within a section of the army?” read the statement

An expectant returnee woman from Kenya, who had just resettled in Chukudum following the country’s return to calm and Independence three years ago, was among the injured.

Women and children were forced to spend cold nights in the bush following the Tuesday morning incident which also left about 60 huts reduced to ashes and a number of homes looted.

In a related incident, a Chukudum Primary School teacher reportedly succumbed to death in mid September while in the custody of soldiers, while two young men arrested during the same period under unclear circumstances are sill held behind bars in Eastern Equatoria’s State Capital, Torit, without trial, three weeks after their arrest.   

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