Tonj violence crackdown: 27 criminals nabbed

President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the Army Chief of Staff – Gen Santino Deng, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Majak Akec and Security Chief Akol Koor (photo by presidential page – J1)

By William Madouk Garang

The security forces have arrested 27 suspects linked to Rualbet of Tonj North County in an intensified crackdown over recent gory violence in Warrap State, said the security chief.

The Chief of National Security Service, Akol Koor Kuc disclosed this on Tuesday during a meeting with President Salva Kiir to brief him on security situation in Rualbet after clashes among security forces and armed youth last month.

In June, authorities in Warrap State confirmed that 18 government soldiers and seven armed youth were killed in clashes between two groups in Rualbet Payam of Tonj North County.

President Kiir then dispatched the security chiefs in the area to de-escalate the situation, which led to the community chiefs signing documents to disarm youths, join military or risk 10 years imprisonment.

In a statement seen on the Presidential official Facebook page, the commanders briefed the President about the security status in restive Tonj North County adding that they arrested 27 culprits linked to the violence.

 “H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit was briefed on Tuesday by the heads of Security Organs that he directed to address the security situation in Rualbet Payam, Tonj North of Warrap State, following the clashes between security forces and armed civilians in the area last month,” read part of statement on official State House Facebook page.

“Furthermore, the Security Chiefs reported to H. E. the President that nearly 27 culprits linked to the recent killings in Rualbet Payam have been arrested and security forces have been deployed to crack down more criminals,” the statement disclosed. 

The three top security Commanders said there was a total breakdown of law and order in the area but the situation is back to normalcy and all roadblocks that hinder movement are now removed.

The heads of security also informed the President that the security situation is now calm in Rualbet Payam and they succeeded to gather small fire arms and returned raided cattle.

They also reported that, they have so far managed to collect over 531 small fire arms from the civilians and 124 stolen cattle were recovered and returned to their rightful owners through the efforts of local chiefs.

In the meeting was also, the SSPDF Chief of Defense Forces – Gen Santino Deng Wol, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen. Majak Akec.

The Tonj North Clashes

Authorities in Warrap State earlier reported that the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) deployed to recover stolen cattle clashed with armed young men from Rualbet Payam.

Among those killed were military chief of Intelligence Division 11, Lt-Col Akec Ciman Paac, SSPDF Division 11 military chief for operation, Maj Santino Kuot Kuotdit and ex commissioner of Mayen Jur, Kuol Agok.

President Kiir promised in his speech on 11th Independence anniversary, to punish people who are behind the killing of people including senior government officials and army officers.

”Even more disheartening is the recent violence in Tonj where many military personnel, including several senior officers lost their lives at the hands of our own civilian population,” President Kiir said during his independence Nation address.

 “As country, we cannot allow this senseless killing of both security personnel and civilians to continue. Justice must be served on behalf of those whose lives have been lost through this pointless violence,” he added.

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