Kajo-Keji MPs demand release of youths in army custody

Hon. Mary Puru Michael, a lawmaker representing Kajo-Keji Constituency at the R-TNLA on SPLM ticket informing the August House on the gruesome murder of three youth and detention of three more by the SSPDF (Photo: Philip Buda Ladu)

By Philip Buda Ladu

Kajo-Keji Parliamentary Caucus’ Members at the Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly are demanding for immediate release of 3 people including a lactating mother detained by the army in Kajo-Keji following the aftermath of killing 3 youths allegedly carried by the SSPDF.  

The South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) soldiers deployed to Kajo-Keji County have often been accused of targeting civilians, arbitrarily arresting and detaining several, and the worse is shooting to dead, with the latest incident being the killing of 3 youth in Kiri Boma of Kajo-Keji County on 26th May 2022.

After the alleged indiscriminate shooting of three innocent youth in an area called Poki Village of Kiri Boma, Kangapo 1 Payam of Kajo-Keji county, over the death of a soldier reported hanging in the area, the army is being asked to release a lactating mother of three months old baby a sister to the deceased youth shot death along two more young men under army detention.

The SSPDF soldiers’ atrocities in Kajo-Keji provoked law makers from the area to raise an urgent motion on a matter deemed of public importance on the killing of the 3 youth allegedly by the SSPDF in Keji-Keji County Central Equatoria State.

Hon. Mary Puru Michael a lawmaker representing Kajo-Keji county on an SPLM docket at the R-TNLA with permission of the Rt. Hon. Speaker informed the August House of the gruesome and heinous incident of 26th May 2022 in Kajo-Keji during Monday’s parliamentary sitting.

 The lawmaker had requested the Speaker to permit her present a statement on the urgent and important matter concerning the killing of the three innocent youth by what she described as anti-peace SSPDF soldiers in Kajo-Keji county of Central Equatoria State.

Hon. Puru hinted that as Kajo-Keji County parliamentary caucus they were dismayed, disturbed and shocked to hear of the killing of the 3 innocent youth on 26th May 2022 by some SSPDF soldiers who were considered to be anti-peace.

“What happened was that there was a dead body that was found in that area and the youth of the area decided to inform the authorities. First of all they informed the police and the police went to the scene and when they were there they decided to call the soldiers” she narrated.

“When the soldiers arrived at the scene instead of investigating the matter they decided to roundup the people in the vicinity of the scene and then they said you are the ones who killed the dead body that was lying there, the three youth then said no they are not the ones but immediately when they said no the soldiers shot them dead” Hon. Puru explained the circumstance of the shooting.

 “After the shooting the soldiers decided to take three more people, the sister of those who were shot dead was also taken along and they were all taken to the military Barracks.  Now this lady the sister of to the boys who were killed has a very small baby of three months old and up to now they are in detention so this is what happened on 26th of May 2022” Puru lamented.

The Kajo-Keji parliamentary Caucus is now demanding for the unconditional release of the 3 people being detained in the army military barracks in Kajo-Keji, while calling for the constitution of a parliamentary committee to investigate the alleged SSPDF’s atrocities in the areas.

“So as Parliamentary Caucus of Kajo-Keji County we are calling for the immediate release of those three youth that were put into detention and also we had wanted the parliament also to form a committee to go to the ground to see what has transpired there” Hon. Mary Puru submitted their position on the matter. Meanwhile, Jemma Nunu Kumba the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly having listened to urgent matter raised by Hon. Mary Puru Michael directed Hon. Mary Puru to submit the written urgent motion to the clerk for them to pass it to the house for discussion by Tuesday (today), hopefully. 

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