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Unarmed Civilians caused Sherikat Shootings -South Sudan Committee

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A high-profile committee that was constituted by President Salva Kiir in June to investigate a shooting in Sherikat suburbs of South Sudan capital that led to the killing of more than six people has released its findings yesterday, Thursday, September 3, 2020.

The suspect behind the shooting that killed six unarmed civilians and wounded eight others including a woman, chief, and child was identified as a well-armed Lt. Col. Lual Akook Wol Kiir, a nephew of South Sudan president and a member of the national security forces.

In the Press briefing held yesterday where the findings of the 3-month long investigation were presented by the South Sudan Presidential Affairs Minister, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in Juba, South Sudan.

Here are some notable facts as gathered by NCMP from the press conference:

The incident started from the public toilet managed by Ajith Yoor on the 2/6/2020 where Ajith complained of Lual erecting his shops near the public toilet, that closed the sewage pipes.

Ajith complained and demolished the extension that Lual was putting up (incidents of 2nd June). Lual opened a case on 2/6/2020 against Ajith but the arrest was not executed.

There was an expected meeting to discuss the events of 2nd June between Ajith Yoor and Lual Marine but when Lual got to the scene on the morning of 3/6/2020, he found a huge crowd which he provoked and that let to him being beaten. The over 6 bodyguards/soldiers accompanying Lual started shooting at the crowd.

It was noted that Ajith Yoor has an undisputed legal title (leased from one Gore) over the piece of land and had a legitimate claim. The items lost by many business people on the day of the incident are WORTH between USD 5,000- $1,8m, but all those figures were not proven and remain disputed

The committee gave the following recommendations.

1. That all suspect of the Sherkat Incident should be subjected to due legal proceedings.

2. That all suspect of bailable offenses should be released on bail.

3. That Sherkat Community Peace Conference be organized to iron out issues of inhabitants in the area.

4. That all soldiers or government officials involved in managing affairs of land in Sherkat should be directed by their units to stop.

5. The local/State and national should focus some attention into proper management of the Sherkat land issues.

Also, the public should note that Lual Marine use of government facilities, soldiers aggravated the situation and was done illegally. The committee also advised that all cases by/against Lual Marine were not given attention by the authorities and that was further abused by the actors. The failure by the local authorities to take controlled to the abuse.

The committee never recommended or ordered for the arrest of anyone. The committee reiterates that there was nothing pre-plan leading to the incident of Sherkat but arose from the sympathizers of both communities. Furthermore, the committee broached that there was nothing political although some elements who were chanting “down down government” could be interpreted to mean something against the government.

Lastly the committee also mentioned that any arrest made is not the committee’s recommendation but asks the police pointing to “IGP”.

The Sherikat shooting fitted two sub-Dinka tribe communities of Dinka-Bor and Dinka-Bhar el Ghazal and it quickly became a matter of public concern as members of the two communities began to attack one another in areas like Juba and Bor town, Jonglei State.

At least two members of the armed forces including a presidential guard and a retired police major general have been gunned down in what is alleged to be a revenge killing of Lt. Col. Lual Akook Wol Kiir.

Other senior members of the army and national security have been implicated and are being investigated in a case that has been file with the Supreme Court of South Sudan.

This committee was formed in response to protests in both the national capital Juba and Jonglei State capital to investigate the Sherikat shooting; however, another investigation committee has been formed within the police services to investigate the accused who were allegedly involved in the killing of Lt. Col. Lual Akook Wol.

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