Five killed after SSPDF, youth clash in Pochalla

Five killed after SSPDF, youth clash in Pochalla

A lobby group is calling on the national and state governments to come up with proper legislation to tame rising conflict between communities and government forces.

The call came days after five people lost their lives in a clash between local youth and members of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces – SSPDF.

The incident that took place in Pochalla County in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), last Friday, was between a section of SSPDF soldiers based at Raat and local youth; a battle that also left four people nursing grave bodily harm.

According to local administration, chaos erupted after a group of SSPDF soldiers allegedly attacked Okwa village in Awetaballa Payam.

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), a lobyy group that champions for peaceful co-existence between among communities, cautions that the deaths can be prevented if proper laws are put in place.

“The national legislature is required to push the executive organ of the government at local and state levels to be effective in conflict prevention,” said Edmund Yakani, CEPO Executive Director.

The group further cautioned that clashes between the SSPDF and civilians have been on the rise across the country.

“The trend of SSPDF and civilian population clashing is increasing and disturbing,” read a statement by Edmund Yakani, CEPO Executive Director.

 According to CEPO, the clashes are triggered by armed cattle raiding, misconduct of soldiers, revenge attacks and banditry.

“We are urging the youth of Pochalla to remain calm and de-escalate violent confrontation of SSPDF. We hope the SSPDF leadership will respond effectively to prevent the continuity of the clashes in Okwa village

“This trend of violence with our army requires an urgent and effective response by the national government. These deadly incidences, if remain unresolved, may lead to serious crimes,” he added.

CEPO further urged the Council of States leadership following the directives of the H.E. President recently, to develop effective and responsive mechanisms to deal with deadly violence

Last week, three civilians from Kajo-Keji were allegedly killed by SSPDF. The case is yet to be resolved.