MPs form committee to probe Kajo Keji killings

MPs form committee to probe Kajo Keji killings
Mary Puru, the mover of the motion seeking probe into the killing of the three youth in Kajo Keji County. [Keji Janefer, City Review]

The national Assembly have formed a five-member committee to investigate the brutal killing of three young men in Kajo-Keji County.

Sevia Yamba Lominsuk, 18, Justin Lisok Lominsuk,16, and Taka Igga Wani, 38, were killed by alleged SSPDF soldiers on May 26, 2022, in Kiri Boma, Kangapo Payam.

The shooting was triggered after the body of a soldier was discovered at Itorogwe village.

The cause of the soldier’s death is unknown according to a report provided to the Transitional National Legislative Assembly on Tuesday by the Kajo Keji legislative caucus.

The report was presented by Mary Puru. 

According to the statement, the youth were allegedly executed in the presence of a senior officer in the rank of inspector general. The officer had been alerted when the body of the soldier was discovered by the locals near the scene of crime.

“On his arrival, some soldiers also arrived at the area of the incident. However, they did not consider the presence of the inspector of police but instead, they rounded up the area, tied the three youth and shot them,” the statement read.

The area MPs have called for the immediate release of two youth, among them a woman, a baby, and a sister of the two boys killed who are currently detained at the army barracks.

They also demanded the formation of a parliamentary committee to conduct a fact-finding mission at the scene of the incident to ensure justice for the victims

Dr Achol Marial Deng condemned the incident, saying such brutal killing could scare the refugees who are willing to come back home for the census. He added the peace agreement implementation cannot move on with such killing.

Dr Achol also echoed the sentiments of the Kajo Keji MPs, emphasising that the law should take its course. 

He urged the governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, to take the issue very seriously as the head of state security.

“The investigation must take place properly,” Marial stressed.

Action needed

Eresto Lupara said, “These people have got their commanders. They are supposed to answer this question because the soldiers are under their command.”

“Who authorised the soldiers to go and do these kinds of things? I think the leadership should take this thing seriously,” he said.

He criticised the government for failing to address insecurity that has led to loss of lives across the country.

 Lupara said the leadership must always issue statements whenever people are killed.

“The Minister of Defence and the Minister of Interior and the Inspector of Police should come clear to the people of South Sudan [on this],” he asked

William Obanyi Otong said there have been claims of ongoing killings by the army, which he said is intended to prevent citizens living in PoCs and refugee camps from returning home.

“Yesterday we were talking about the numbers of registration of the political parties. From where do we get these numbers if some of the people who are there in certain areas are being threatened, or are being killed by our soldiers who are supposed to protect them and encourage them to come back to their specific areas,” Obanyi said.

Another senior MP, Salva Mathok, warned that the process of investigating the killings in Kajo Keji should not be politicised for the victims to receive justice.

Although Sudanspost reported on Sunday that some soldiers had been arrested in connection to the killings, when contacted by The City Review, South Sudan People’s Defence Force spokesperson, Maj Gen Lul Ruai said Bilpham was yet to receive a comprehensive report from the Kajo Keji.