Jonglei State, News

Former Pochalla SSPDF commander dies in attack

By Manas James

Former commander of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in Pochalla County has been killed in an attack at his residence.

According to police, Col. Okony Okwom Othow was killed on Sunday, when soldiers were search for a prisoner who escaped from detention.

Pochalla County police inspector, Lt. Col. Amati Ochan confirmed the death of the former commander.

“At 8 a.m. on Sunday, tensions escalated in Pochalla as clashes between ex-commander Joseph Okony and a group of soldiers under the current commander, Colonel Acwil Ayi, took place,” Amati said.

He said forces were searching for a fellow soldier who had escaped from their prison the previous evening, suspecting he might be hiding at Okony’s residence.

However, investigations revealed that Okony was not harboring the escapee, only identified as 2nd Lt. Makoor.

“Regrettably, this misunderstanding led to the fatal fighting and the eventual death of Colonel Okony.” Ochan narrated.

The police inspector said the situation remains tense in Pochalla.

“In addition to the loss of Colonel Okony, two soldiers were injured, and a queen to the late Odiel Gora was also hurt. As a result, residents have fled the southern part of the town due to the tense situation,” he stated.

Acting Pochalla County Commissioner, Owety Olung confirmed the incident, expressing concern that the violence could escalate and cause more residents to flee.

“Prior to this incident, Colonel Acwil and I had discussed the need to apprehend the fugitive who had escaped from the SSPDF prison. Consequently, it is unfortunate that soldiers attacked Okony, as the escapee is said to be his close associate,” the commissioner noted.

One Pochalla citizen, who identified himself only as John, has called on the national government to intervene, citing the heightened tensions and arbitrary arrests of civilians by SSPDF soldiers in the area.

Despite numerous attempts to contact SSPDF spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang for comment, all efforts were futile by press time.


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