YAMBIO – The deadly clashes between the civilians and the government soldiers resulted in the death of 13 people according to the state officials.
SPLA army and heavily armed pastoralists of Dinka ethnic groups clashed with civilians in the town of Yambio of Western Equatoria State last friday and continued on sporadically throughout the weekend. The clashes started when some members of pastoralists believed to be criminals started to go on a looting spree in the town causing havoc among the civil population. The youths in the area then took the matter into their own hands and confronted the pastoralists resulting in the death of one person. The pastoralists were then joined by members of Dinka soldiers from a nearby barrack. The fighting then continued on till Sunday in an on and off revenge style format. 2 motorists (boda boda) were killed unarmed by the pastoralists and the militias. The locals then responded and killed a militia.
Today, the government of Western Equatoria said that the clashes have since Monday stopped as they try to convince the youths not to revenge. But the deaths toll has since reached 10 people among the local civilians and 4 among the militias.
State Minister of Information Mr Charles Kisanga said that a contingent of government forces mainly hailing from Nuer tribes were deployed in the town and other surroundings to maintain law and order. Kisanga said that there has been significant improvement in the town and the surrounding areas since the deployment.
Charles however decried the recent “shoot to kill order” by Paul Malong Awan, the army chief of Juba. Charles say the army should be told to stop in trying to loot people’s properties and resorting killing people.
“…The Army Chief of Staff also did visit Yambio but only talked to his troops and State authorities were surprised to hear that he ordered the Army to apply shoot to kill policy only on the local youth without reference to the armed pastoralists or trying to address the root causes of the violence.” – Charles said in a Facebook update.
At the weekend, the local youths threatened to wage a long intensive war against the pastoralists and Dinkas in the area if they are not evacuated from the area. A threat which was calmed by the State Governor.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES