By William Madouk Garang
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has joined the government in condemning the extrajudicial killing of four suspects accused of murdering Mayom County Commissioner, Chuol Gatluak Manime.
In a statement, the head of peace mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Nicholas Haysom said the executions which took place on 7 August, were allegedly in response to a July attack by SSPM/A on Mayom County Commissioner.
“Anyone who is suspected of a crime must be subject to a proper trial as part of a fair judicial process,” Haysom who is also the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to South Sudan said.
“Extrajudicial killings must be condemned because they cannot be a basis for restoring law and order,” he noted.
Mr. Haysom stressed the importance of building strong local justice systems across the country to be able to hold those who commit crimes responsible.
“It is only by strengthening the justice system and ensuring criminal cases are tried in a fair and timely manner that community members benefit from accountability and will have faith in justice,” he stated.
UNMISS acknowledged the statements issued by the Government condemning the summary executions, including assurances from the Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, Defense Minister, Angelina Teny, and the SSPDF’s Spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang.
Yesterday, South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) distanced itself from the execution of rebel commanders, citing that the army leadership did not approve extrajudicial killing.
South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) Spokesperson, Major General Lul Ruai now said that an investigative committee will be formed to carefully probe the incident, and arrest those who masterminded firing squad.
Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Angelina Teny and the Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth also condemned the extrajudicial killings, asserting that the killing did not mount to justice, hence it’s unacceptable.
The suspects were reportedly arrested by the Sudanese forces in connection to the recent killing of the Commissioner of Mayom County with 10 other people.
A video circulating on social media saw, soldiers executing the three via firing squad, while setting Brig. Gen. Gatluak Majiok Liey on fire in a hut to retaliate the killing of Mayom County Commissioner.
The suspects were blindfolded and about a dozen soldiers opened fire on them at the command of perceived senior officers.