National, News

MPs pledge protective measures on military stores

By William Madouk


Specialized Committee on Defense and Veterans Affairs at national parliament has promised tough precautionary measures to prevent explosion of ammunitions in the country.

This came after Saturday’s night fire outbreak at an ammunition depot Giada military barrack, which left eight people nursing injuries.

In a statement seen by this outlet, the lawmakers expressed displeasure over the ill-fated incident, citing that they will tighten safety measures to avoid such incidences in the future.

“We will join hands with the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) to ensure that such incidences are avoided in the future,” partly reads the statement.

Also, the MPs assured that they fully engage in the process of investigation and ensure that those found guilty are punished.

“We will also make sure that, in case anyone is found guilty thereafter, he or she shall be held accountable,” it added.

Besides, Edmund Yakani, the executive director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), expressed deep concern, citing that this was not the first time for such an incident, and advised the army to improve on storing arms.

“We hope that the army leadership of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) could learn from previous mistakes and improve our military and defense stockpiling management system,” said Yakani.

“This incident, which happened yesterday in the military barracks of Al-Giada, shows us very clearly that the status of our stockpiling management is not in a proper situation or is not of adequate standard,” he added.

Mr. Yakani also called on President Salva Kiir to form an independent body to investigate the matter.

On Sunday, the SSPDF spokesperson, Maj-Gen Lul Ruai, rubbished the claim that there was a fight, citing that only the ammunition depot caught fire, leading to an explosion.

Maj. Gen. Ruai said the explosion might have been caused by the excessive heat that the country is experiencing.

He underscored that the wounded are currently getting treatment at Al-Giada Military Hospital.

“The primary suspect in this is the hot weather that might have ignited the fire. There was no fighting like it was reported that there was heavy fighting in Juba,” he noted.

However, residents living in and around Al-Giada were caught by surprise at midnight on Saturday, with ear shrills exploding and a shocking wave. Many thought the history of 2013 and 2016 had repeated itself.

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