12 January 2013

South Sudan: Rumbek North County Authority Denies Attacking Unity State Police Car

Rumbek — The Commissioner of Rumbek North County in Lakes State, Stephen Mathiang Deng, on Saturday denied allegations that young men from his county participated in an attack on a Unity State police car on Thursday.

"Rumbek North County is not [a] recycle bin or [a] dustbin for Unity state to shift in their problems", the Commissioner said, adding that his county has itself experienced several attacks carried out by pastoralists from Unity State.

He said he believed those responsible for the attack on the police car were from within Unity State.

"Our youth never stood behind such attack because they were all disarmed and Unity state youth are still having large number of arms and they are common in cattle raiding and road robbery."

Unity state is accountable for it own mess," he added.

He further disclosed that he heard reports that Unity State was organizing attacks toward Lakes State "by sending police forces to Madol payam of Rumbek North without permission".

"People are being killed on roads ambushes and cattle are being raided and Unity State government is not cooperating with Lakes state government", he said, citing a incident last week were he alleged the raiders from Unity State killed two people.

Madol is part of Rumbek North, he said. "It is not a part of Unity State."

"What makes Unity State to send in police while it is not part of their administration?" he asked.

The commissioner further claimed there are a lot of suspected criminals from Unity state who are moving around Rumbek North, adding that some "bandits dressed as SPLA [South Sudan army] have stopped cars and beat-up those inside".

The situation, he added, remains "tense" and that people live "in fear".

The South Sudan armed forces and police in the area "are becoming unsuccessful" at managing the security situation, Deng said.

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