16 May 2014

South Sudan: Five Dead, Scores Injured in Lakes State Clashes

Rumbek — At least five people were killed and four others critically injured in fresh clashes at a remote village in the Lakes state capital, Rumbek.

A police officer, who preferred anonymity, said some pastoralists suspected to have come from Cueibet county carried out these attacks, a claim Cueibet youth denied.

"The Gok Dinka section of Cueibet County are suspected to have attack those cattle in Pan-cuai. They killed five people and left four other people with a critical gunshot wounds", the officer told Sudan Tribune.

"Those who sustained gunshot wounds were rushed to Wulu county", he added.

Authority in Wulu hospital confirmed the presence of four wounded people, but said they had to be transferred to Rumbek civil hospital for further treatment.

Pan-cuai is located near Mayeke on Bahrgel payam [district] of Wulu county.

Meanwhile, Lakes sate unlike the other nine regions of the country, did not officially commemorate the 16 May celebrations, as gunshots rocked all its eight counties.

The state government had earlier issued an order warning against such shootings, but this directive was largely ignored as sporadic gunfire was heard all over the state.

"Yes, we were told not to fire live bullet in air by state government, but we refuse to respect such order. Rumbek is the heart of liberation and we celebrate the day with bullet than going to Rumbek freedom square controlled by imposed caretaker military governor Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol", said a youth leader in Rumbek East county.

"Our position is that South Sudan president should remove his military friend", he added.

Thon Makoi Chawul, the youth leader in the state denied allegations that its members had opted to join in a rebellion in support of former elected governor Chol Tong Mayay, who was removed by a presidential decree in January 2013.

Youth activists, traditional leaders and members of the civil society have repeatedly called on president Salva Kiir to remove Dhuol who replaced an elected governor.

Since his appointment, however, Dhuol has been accused of ruling his subjects with an "iron fist", yet president Kiir has continuously ignored calls for his removal.

Under South Sudan's Transitional constitution, an election should be held within 90 days, should the president remove a governor. This has, however, not happened as required in three of the country's 10 states where governors were removed through decrees last year.

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