Rumbek Military Police Detain People Over Illegal Arms Issue

Military police in Rumbek detained more than 13 people last Saturday night over in connection to illegal arms possession. This is not the first time the army has issued an order of arrest. In previous years, similar commands have been carried out but nothing has ever emerged from these arrests.

The current action was sparked off by the killing of a soldier. According to initial investigations, the police suspect that he was killed by his father-in-law.
Since July 2005, the number of people killed has ranged between 10 and 15. They were all killed in similar shooting incidents but no arrests have been made so far.
Early this week, the military unit issued a statement informing people to surrender their guns at Malou military barracks and to the police headquarters.

Last Tuesday, the Head of Army, Lakes state Brigadier Amuri Mathieng Dhel ordered the arrest of any person/s found walking in the streets after 8 pm. Anyone breaking the curfew would be held overnight in jail without questioning on gun possession. Anyone found in possession of a gun after the curfew would be interrogated and charged according to military law.

Talking to some businessmen in the town market follwoing the announcement by the Military Police to patrol the streets, they tolf of their distrust of the Military Police in dealing with the matter. “We have suffered for a long time in their hands when we were still at war. Now peace has been signed but nothing has been done about our lives and our safety."
The lives of ordinary people in Rumbek have become difficult due to theft, robbery, and continuous attacks on people during the night as well as rampant looting of shops by gunmen on a massive scale. Almost every one in the town including businessmen and students possess illegal arms.

Despite the decision that made Juba the capital of the South over Rumbek, Rumbek has still continued to remain the business centre despite the main problem of daily gunfire heard in the streets. Although civilians were disarmed, the question as to who carried this out and where these arms are being kept remains unanswered. Disarmament has been done many times before but within less than one month, the arms seem to get back into the wrong hands.


Posted in: Governance
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