By Chol Makol Riak
Authorities in Lakes State have initiated Peaceful disarmament of illegal firearms in the hands of local populations across the State.
According to a government official, the local chiefs are tasked to lead the exercise at their localities across Lakes State.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper via phone from Lakes State, William Keji, the Minister of Information in Lakes State said the government has granted one month to conduct the exercise before forceful steps were taken.
Keji stated that the committee being headed by the state governor has started touring the counties to carryout awareness about the initiated disarmament.
He said the traditional chiefs are tasked to register the people with firearms in their communities.
“Chiefs are directing their own people because they know where their people are and what these people have, so it is there task and responsibility, they know how many people have firearms in their communities, so using them is a right procedure,” Keji said.
Keji said chiefs will report those who will refuse to surrender their firearms adding that they will be dealt with by the government.
He appealed to the residents of Lakes State to surrender their guns in the peaceful stage of the exercise before further measures are taken against violators.
He said the presence of fire arms in the hands of civilians is the main cause of violence among the communities.
“This communal violence has come to an end so there is nothing to do with guns and also the presence of those fire arms are the only cause of the recent violence in the communities” he said.
He urged the neighboring states to do the same in order to end the on-going communal violence in South Sudan.
Following the appointment of Gen. Rin Tueny Mabor, as a governor of Lakes State this year after Gen. Makur Kulang, most of the crimes related to guns have reduced in Lakes State.
However, according to government official, the recent initiated disarmament would help restore durable Peace and Stability across Lakes State.
According to a Gun Policy report, the estimated total number of guns held by civilians in South Sudan was 3 million in 2013 and 1.2 million in 2017.