Is Torit Commissioner’s coercive disarmament effective? A shoot-to-kill order has been issued for an armed citizen.
Jacob Attari, the interim commissioner of Torit County, has issued a shoot-to-kill order for armed citizens in Hiyalla, where the military has been deployed to ensure security.
“Any citizen discovered with a gun on the road must have the gun taken; if he resists, he will be shot dead. They should immediately lay down their weapons and show respect for the army, which must equally show respect for civilians,” Commissioner Attari stated. “At this point, we need to see peace throughout the state; we don’t want to see someone robbed or shot on the road, not only in Hiyalla, but throughout the state.”
“My message to the people of Torit county is that they should not be afraid when they see the army travelling with heavy weaponry on the road; the troops are only there to ensure security,” he continued. They have no beef with anyone, and I am asking every person not to drive with a gun.”
The Hiyalla chief, John Oromo, affirmed and appreciated the commissioner’s ruling and urged the youths to follow it in order to avoid being victims.
“As you are aware, those who consume alcohol are irresponsible. What I’m trying to convey to them is that if troops are roaming around here, they should avoid carrying firearms and should also avoid wearing military uniforms, since they will shoot you instantly even if you don’t shoot at them.
They’re going to shoot you and steal your pistol. They would claim that everyone, even civilians, is a soldier since there are no military here; I have explained this to Monyiemiji (local youth),” Chief Oromo said.
Sanabio Tiyya, the leader of Tirangore Boma, stated that the instruction is extremely clear and that the youths are following it.
“This is accurate and very obvious since I have now told all the youths not to cross the highway with a gun or to just loiter there. Second, I advised them to abstain from raiding other people’s villages, as the government would ruin your village this time.
They now realize that no one walks to the road with a gun, and that, similarly to Haforiere and Hiyalla, no one fights again,” Tiyya explained.
Charles Okullu, the head of Eastern Equatoria State’s civil society network, commended the new commissioner for his prompt response to insecurity but asked him to revoke the shoot-to-kill order.
“He should rethink his comment. It is rather violent and will do little to assist solidify peace in the short term. The violent approach does not assist address community concerns; what does help at the present is concentrating on the fundamental reasons, on what motivates individuals to behave in certain ways. Is it a deficiency in the rule of law, or is it politically motivated?” Okullo said.