16 SSPDF officers detained over looting, killings

16 SSPDF officers detained over looting, killings

Yei River County government revealed the arrest of 16 South Sudan People’s Defence Forces soldiers suspected of killing civilians and  looting property over the weekend.

According to the authorities, the 16 soldiers committed the crimes when they were sent to follow up on a fire exchange where one soldier who was deployed at Libogo village was killed.

The soldier was travelling to Abegi before he was shot dead by an unknown gunman between the villages of Rubeke and Abegi.

Speaking to The City Review yesterday, Yei River County Commissioner, Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa, said the soldiers went on a rampage when they were sent to check the scene of the incident.

“This incident happened because of the death of a soldier who was shot, and when the 16 soldiers were sent to the village [for assessment], they instantly went and shot two people whom they suspected to be [the culprits] who may have shot the soldier,” he explained.

Cyrus said the military that was expected to rescue the situation went on a looting spree and made unwarranted arrests.

“The 16 are arrested because of the death of the two soldiers and also for their involvement in the looting of civilian property, including their animals, like the goats, and they are also arrested for beating of the civilians,” he said.

Soldiers locked

“The soldiers are now in prison, and they will not be released until the investigation committee clears them,” said Cyrus.

He said the soldiers followed the footmarks of the person who fired the gun, and upon reaching the village, they discovered that it was an SSPDF soldier who was killed.

“They shot a man called Towongo. The brother-in-law was accused of hiding the person who killed the soldier. The suspect is called “Emo,” said the commissioner.

Cyrus condemned the actions carried out by the soldiers and termed the incident the worst crime that should be discouraged.

Also, on the same day, an armed soldier was killed and burnt along Maridi Road, six miles away from Yei, by unknown people.

The commissioner said such incidences are against peace and urged citizens to denounce violence in Yei River County.

Cyrus urged all citizens of Yei River County not to emulate practises that are harmful to society  and condemned whoever was behind these anti-peace practises in the county.