12 December 2012

South Sudan: SPLA Denies Killing Civilians in Wau Protest

Al Jazeera has received new pictures of what appears to be South Sudanese soldiers firing on a crowd of unarmed demonstrators in the northwest of ... ( Resource: Protesters Shot at by South Sudanese Army )

Juba — South Sudan's army, known as the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), has denied involvement in the recent killings of civilians in the Western Bhar el Ghazal's capital, Wau, following a violent protest in the area.

Dozens of civilians were reported killed in the two-day protests which were triggered by an administrative decision of the state governor, Rizik Zechariah Hassan, to transfer the headquarters of Wau County to a different location outside the town.

The reports, some quoting the United Nations officials, have implicated the SPLA in the killings.

The SPLA's head of information and public relations department Malaak Ayuen Ajok, however denied the allegation and instead said the police were responsible for the killings.

Malaak in a televised statement on the national television, SSTV, on Tuesday said the civilians were killed in self-defense when they laid ambushes twice to police convoys, throwing stones at the police and burning a number of vehicles on the road.

He blamed the Balanda tribe in Wau for resisting the relocation of the administrative unit and causing the havoc which resulted in the killings.

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