18 November 2012

Sudan: Warrap - Unknown People Kill Policeman, Raid 400 Cattle

Juba — Unknown people on Friday shot dead a senior community police officer in South Sudan's Warrap state, wounded five others and raided 400 heads of cattle, an official told Sudan Tribune.

Tonj South County Commissioner, Mario Monydhieth Gor, said state authorities are pursuing the armed groups, following the surprise incident, which occurred on Friday evening in Manyangok payam.

"Cattle raiders attacked Peth cattle camp in Manyangok Payam [district], killing one community police officer, and injuring five others. They have also taken 400 heads of cattle," Gor told Sudan Tribune by phone.

Two of the attackers, he said, have been arrested while the others remain at large. The Commissioner, however, urged the population not to over react over the incident, further assuring them that government would best handle the situation by brining to justice those responsible.

Those who carried out the attack, according to Gor, came from neighboring Cueibet County in Lakes state. In the past, officials from both states have held series of joint meeting with local communities to devise mechanisms for resolving conflicts between the two regions.

A joint police force, it was initially agreed upon, was to be deployed at common border points between two states to avert any attack.

State authorities, the Commissioner said, recently intensified the crackdown on criminals destabilizing the population in Warrap.

"We are undertaking a major security operation on the ground," he stressed.

Also of concern, officials say, is the absence of or limited numbers of police personnel in volatile areas of a country, struggling to fix myriad of competing priorities.

Daniel Awet Akot, the Deputy Speaker of South Sudan National Assembly (SSNA) said the incident in the area underline a challenge, which requires immediate attention of the government.

"It exposed lack of capacity to quickly detect movement of suspected elements. Our security forces, including police [still] lack a lot of things. They have no detective equipment, have no skills, especially techniques to hunt and deal with criminals. They also have issues to do with transport," Akot, who hails from Lakes, told Sudan Tribune Sunday.

"It is time they [government] take serious action and ensure the police have adequate machinery to deal with criminals, the killing of police officer by itself shows lack of capacity to deal with these criminals," he added.

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