Sixteen SSPDF soldiers, 3 civilians await trial over killing

By Adia Jildo

The mobile Court martial is to try 16 SSPDF soldiers for murder of civilians and looting properties and 3 civilians will also be tried for murdering soldiers in Yei. The mobile court martial has been approved last week to travel to Yei in order to prosecute criminals in the incident.

The 14 of the soldiers were arrested for looting and 2 others for killing of civilians on the 27th March 2022 in Abegi, Yei County.

“We have requested the SSPDF to send to Yei the mobile court martial which was approved already. The team will reach Yei either on Thursday or next week for the trial of the sixteen SSPDF soldiers,” said Aggrey Cyrus the commissioner of Yei County.

He said the civilians are safe citing that criminal activities that are committed by SSPDF soldiers are initiated by individuals at their levels to commit crimes.

“The court is there to try cases of indiscipline, murder and cases that affect society existence,” he said.

Aggrey stated that the safety of civilians is guaranteed as long as they are able to keep laws and maintain law and order.

“Recently, civilians killed soldiers and the soldiers went into pursuing them thinking they were enemies,” he said.

About 3 civilians were involved in the murder of SSPDF soldiers in Yei within two months.

“One juvenile is already in detention for the murder of soldiers. This happened on the 6th March in Abegi,” he said.

Two civilians involved in the murder of SSPDF soldiers in Rubegi on the 28th March were able to flee to DR Congo.

“We are working with authorities in Congo to apprehend them and if all goes well, we will get them within this week or next week to be brought before the court,” Aggrey said.

He said a large number of SSPDF soldiers are in custody waiting for their trial for crimes such as looting, killing and rape in Yei.

“There are cases that were piling here since 2020. So the whole of 2021, there were no trials made and so these cases are to be cleared because it’s not good to keep people in detention and they are not tried,” he said.

He called on the communities of Yei and SSPDF soldiers to embrace each other and create a safe place for them by abiding by the laws of the country.

“I would urge that let us reconcile with each other. Let us take ourselves as children of God. I would urge that peace is paramount in our hearts and must come with compassion and endure the event of conflicts, hunger and poverty that manufacture hatred within our hearts. We need to plan the heart of love and compassion” Aggrey said.

Efforts to reach the SSPDF’s public relation officer Michael Machar for comments were futile by press time.

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