S. Sudan army arrests own members for starting deadly Tonj fighting – spokesman

Army spokesman Major General Lul Ruai Koang (Photo credit: Supplied)

Army spokesman Major General Lul Ruai Koang (Photo credit: Supplied)

August 15, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) has said that two of its members have been arrested and set for investigation for starting last week’s deadly fighting in the country’s Tonj East County.

Last week, fighting erupted between an SSPDF disarmament force and heavily armed civilians in Tonj of Warrap state. The deadly fighting resulted in the killing of 143 people including 45 members of the SSPDF and 98 civilians.

The fighting, which began after an armed civilian refused to remove a red scarf, has triggered social media uproar with calls for the army command to bring to account those responsible among its forces for the fighting.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia this morning, army spokesman, Major General Lul Ruai Koang, said two soldiers have been arrested and an investigation committee has been formed and was waiting for a plane to transport them to where the fighting started to investigate.

“The two soldiers who started the fight that evening have been arrested. An investigative committee has been established to go and investigate them. The red scarf shouldn’t be the reason for the killing,” General Lul said from Juba.

Lul lamented forced used against the civilian member for refusing to remove the red scarf saying there is no reason to beat or kill civilians for refusing to remove the red scarf because the objective was only to remove guns.

“Even if an armed civilian refused to hand over his gun and has begun to run away, there is no need to shot or kill him. If he ran away, he will be found through his community chief,” the senior army officer said.

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