National, News

Army credited for accountability

By Mamer Abraham

Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission commended the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) for holding accountable soldiers responsible for capital crimes against civilians.

While addressing the August House yesterday, the R-JMEC Interim Chairperson Charles Tai Gituai reported that there has been progress in enforcing accountability among SSPDF perpetrators of crimes against civilians despite setbacks.

The RJMEC boss cited a court martial where the 29 cases were tried in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State, as a sign of the significant progress the army had made.

“For example, the SSPDF conducted a General Court Martial (GCM) in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State, which heard 29 cases. These accountability efforts culminated in convictions for murder, rape, sexual harassment, and loss of weapons and ammunition,” he added.

The SSPDF had been accused on several occasions of capital crimes and gross human rights violations.

He further stated that the National Police Service and the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs have partnered with the University of Juba to ensure that the police were reformed.

“Furthermore, the National Police Service Directorate of Community Policing launched the Voluntary Civilian Disarmament Strategy, which aims at voluntary disarmament of communities and enhancement of their protection,” he elaborated.

The incidences

In April, a member of parliament in the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA), Dusman Joice, alleged that an SSPDF soldier had tortured a 13-year-old girl.

The MP claimed that the soldier in question had kidnapped the teenage girl in Lainya County from August 9th, 2022, to April 4th, 2023, therefore traumatizing the girl’s family, who tirelessly searched for her.

“Since that day, the family of the young lady has been looking for her. As representatives of Lainya in the parliament, we have also been looking for the person who kidnapped her,” Joice said.

In May, unidentified assailants killed an SSPDF soldier identified as Marop Domkoch in Cueibet County, Lakes State.

Lakes State Police spokesperson Maj. Elijah Mabor Makuac said the court in Cueibet County had already settled the adultery case before the deceased arrived from Juba.

“When the man came, he found the case was already settled, even though the accused was fined seven heads of cattle for his adultery,” Maj. Elijah explained.

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