4 July 2011

Sudan: Unity Sacks Commissioner Who Accused SPLA of Mayom Massacre

Bentiu — The governor of Unity State Taban Deng Gai has sacked the commissioners of Mayom after he accused the South Sudan army of killing over 200 civilians and burning down over 7,000 in May this year.

South Sudan's army the SPLA is in the process of transforming itself from the rebel army that fought over two decades of civil war into a national army, as the the South aproaches independence on July 9.

The Mayom commisioner Charles Machieng Kuol alleged that on the 21 May the SPLA destroyed civilian property as it chased a rebel militia group out of the area. He went o to accuse condemn the SPLA and accuse them of terrorising citizens from his county.

Over the last one month, Machieng has been under pressure from the state Governor Gai to apologise for his comments. After he failed to so he was dismissed on June 30.

Charles Machieng Kuol confirmed that he had been fired on Friday in a interview with Sudan Tribune. Although governors are elected in South Sudan, County Commisioners are not and are appointed at the will of the governor.

The former commisioner said that although he had been relieved of his position said investigations would still go ahead into the burning of 7,800 homes and what he described as a massacre by the SPLA in Mayom County under the authorisation of the state leadership.

Kuol added that he has faced continuing pressure to retract his statements on the incident to the media, accusing the SPLA of torturing and killing civilians.

However, SPLA spokesman Philip Aguer has denied the involvement of the government of South Sudan directed the military to kill civilians and burn down thousands of homes.

Members from the Mayom community are seeking ways to file investigations into what they say was a massacre by the SPLA.

Over more than two hundreds of civilians dead on the clashes according to the outgone commissioner in Mayom County.

According to UN figures 1,800 people have been killed through cattle-raiding and conflict between South Sudan's numerous rebel groups and the SPLA so far this year.

Many rebel groups began fighting the SPLA and South Sudan government after election in April last year after candidates they supported failed to win seats as MPs or as state governors.

This year senior SPLA figure, Peter Gadet defected and formed his own group vowing to overthrow the Juba government, accusing officials of corruption and tribalism.

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