Central Equatoria State, News

Yei boda-boda leaders released from detention


By James Innocent

Authorities in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State released three detained Boda-boda leaders on Wednesday after undergoing thorough investigations.

The three riders were detained by local security authorities prior to the planned staged peaceful demonstration over the rampant shooting and killing of boda-boda riders in Yei by unknown gunmen.

The heads of the boda-boda associations in Yei had earlier organized to set up a prayer to mourn their fellow brothers and colleagues who were shot by unknown gunmen while carrying passengers along both Yei-Maridi and Yei-Lasu Condo roads.

Commercial motorcycle riders also announced the downing of their tools for a day as a symbol to protest the killing of their colleagues, something that was, however, negatively received by the local authorities, prompting the arrest of the leaders.

The Commissioner of Yei River County, Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa, issued a statement upon the release of the boda-boda association leaders, clarifying the unfortunate and wrong arrest of the riders.

He said the three boda-boda leaders were arrested on false reports posted by someone on social media that the group of riders were planning to stage a strike in the town.

“It was a claim that someone within the county posted on social media announcing to the public that the boda-boda riders were trying to have a march on the streets up to the Freedom Square and move around the town for the killing of their colleagues by unknown gunmen that really made the security organs to arrest the boda-boda riders,” Cyrus explained.

He pointed out that the government doesn’t allow violent activities to take place in the community, that is why the police have to arrest them (riders).

“Our laws in South Sudan don’t want statements issued in violation of the laws, and that information that was issued was a violation of the penal code as public incitement for violence, and it was a police criminal case, that is why the police have to open a case against them,” Commissioner Cyrus stated.

He commended the police authorities in Yei River County for releasing the boda-boda riders, and he advised the public to alert the government in case of any related cases to the same situation.

But Johnson Poru Hillary, the chairperson of Yei River County Youth Association, said the boda-boda riders were not planning to protest, but they were planning to conduct prayers for the loss of their brothers, who were shot and killed by unknown gunmen recently.

He advises members of the public to use social media constructively, saying it may harm the public due to misinformation.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Yei Boda-boda Association appreciated the government of Yei River County for standing firm with the boda-boda and releasing them out of jail.

He further urged the boda-boda riders to move freely in town without fear, adding that they should be patient despite challenges.

“I appreciate the government of Yei River County for understanding our situation by bailing us out and investigating the matter to find out the truth, and I am assuring all the boda-boda to move within the town to avoid problems.



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