National, News

Army frees 8 civilians in Yei

By James Innocent


South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) have released over eight civilian who were found in possession of guns in Yei River County.

According to the County authority, the civilian stated that the guns belonged to their late parents, former soldiers during the SPLA regime.

They were released after a thorough investigation revealed they were not professional soldiers.

“We are releasing eight people who were arrested with guns at Minyori Boma. They all claim that the guns belonged to people who died years ago. However, the guns actually belong to the government and should not be kept by civilians,” SSPDF Commander Brigadier John Lual stated.

“This is because if civilians are found with these guns later, they might be suspected of being rebels. Given the current conflict in the country, it is not safe for guns to be kept at home after the owner has passed away,” he said.

One of the released civilians, a priest, was also freed as the local chiefs were able to identify the individuals.

Commander Lual warned the chiefs to be vigilant and report citizens within their boundaries who possess guns, as they could be threatened by the weapon holders.

SSPDF Captain Mathiang Arok Mathiang said the Minyori area along the Maridi road has been a hotspot where boda boda riders and soldiers have lost their lives.

He urged citizens to help identify criminals in the area.

Yei River County Commissioner Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa advised citizens to refrain from holding guns, as it poses a risk.

He encouraged them to persuade others to surrender their weapons to the government.

The paramount chief of Yei River County, Joseph Brown Lomose, said the arrested citizens were innocent as they lacked military experience.

He pointed out that “a gun is not supposed to be held by a citizen, at least not until they are a soldier.”

He advised young people to avoid alcohol to prevent problems, including addressing concerns about citizens owning guns.


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