By William Madouk Garang
Aweil Youth Union in Juba is calling for justice to the murdered street vendor who was shot dead and one other injured by policeman at Kuburi Habuba, in Juba’s Gudele suburb on Saturday.
This call came after Kuburi Habuba incident where a hawker identified as – Chier Ajou Akot was shot at by officer in process of vacating their commercial activities on the bridge over the weekend.
Mario Dhieu Malek, Deputy Chairperson of the Union said about 81 vendors who hail from Aweil, are doing their small-scale business at Kuburi Habuba market.
According to him, 67 road-side sellers have their goods confiscated by Luri Payam and 14 others are left nursing wounds after they were allegedly assaulted by police on the day of incident.
“I condemn the incident in the strongest terms possible and call on State authorities to bring the people responsible for shooting to book,” Malek said.
“Our people are not criminals, they have come to look for better life and don’t deserve shooting,” he lamented.
He also called on leadership of community in Juba as well as Northern Bahr el Ghazal State authority to intervene so that justice is served for the teenager who was killed in cold-blood.
Malek expressed his “deep” concern about the critical situation road-side vendors are facing after their goods were confiscated and urged the Luri Payam Administration to return the properties.
“Those who lost items/goods; 67 of them, most of them now are left with no food since they survive on their daily businesses,” he stated.
According to eyewitness who chose to remain anonymous, the shooting started when a police man attempted to arrest a young boy who was a hawker for being unable to pay tax and the boy allegedly grabbed the gun.
Police confirmed the incident, they however said the police was not intending to kill them but rather to scare them away which unfortunately killed one person and left other wounded.
James Dak Karlo, Deputy Police Spokesperson revealed that vendors turn deaf ears on directives from Payam Council which warned them from selling commodities along the road and bridges for safety.
Last month, the government appealed to street vendors selling along part of Kuburi Habuba Bridge approach as market and motorists to vacate the area ahead of the official opening of bridge.
Most of the streets of Juba are packed with vendors mainly from low income families making living by selling groceries, juice, biscuits, shoes, clothes among many other petty items.