South Sudan Committee blames Sherikat shooting on unarmed civilians
September 3, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — A high profile committee that was constituted by President Salva Kiir in June to investigate a shooting in Sherikat suburbs of South Sudan capital that led to killing of more than six people has released its findings today, Thursday September 3, 2020.
The suspect behind the shooting that killed six unarmed civilians and wounded eight others including a woman, chief and a child was identified as a well-armed Lt. Col. Lual Akook Wol Kiir, a nephew of South Sudan president and a member of the national security forces.
Announcing the reports of the 3-month long investigation and findings today were the South Sudan Presidential Affairs Minister, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in Juba, South Sudan.
We're now and Minister of Justice, hold a press conference at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in Juba to announce the results of the investigation.
— Nhial Deng Nhial (@HonNhialDeng) September 3, 2020
Speaking on behalf of the committee, South Sudan’s presidential affairs minister, Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, testified that the committee found no evidence that Lt. Col. Lual made pre-planned arrangements to attack the suburb.
According to Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, Lt. Col. Lual Marine’s bodyguards responded in self-defense only after Lual was attacked by violent civilians who beat him unconscious.
“Then those people attacked Lual and hit him in his forehead and in the back. Lual then fall down and became unconscious. Upon seeing Lual collapse, his bodyguards took positions and opened fire,” Hon. Nhial Deng said while addressing the media in the capital, Juba, today.
In response, according to Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, the shooting followed after Lt. Col. Lual had already collapsed but only an act of self-defense.
The reports further alleged that Lt. Col. Lual Marine traveled that morning, June 3, 2020, to Sherikat to try to sit down with the residents of Sherikat to resolve a land dispute; however, Lual found the residents destroying property in Sherikat and when he tried to sit down to speak to elders in attempt to resolve the matter, he was attacked by civilians who were armed with machetes and sticks.
The report also accused the protesters, who protested on June 4th, 2020, of destroying the deceased’s property, vandalizing and looting other properties while blocking and disrupting traffic in the capital.
“The incident then claimed the lives of six persons including Lual Akok himself. Eight people were injured and then demonstrations broke out. The demonstrated looted Lual Akok’s properties and they also destroyed and disrupted public traffic and generally they disrupted the lives of others,” Hon. Nhial continued.
The government has therefore came to conclusion that the Sherikat incident was an act of self-defense and although six people where killed and eight other civilians were wounded by the shooter, the incident should be moved to civilian courts where the case would be heard and justice will be rendered.
“The committee than went to make the following recommendations which have been adopted by the leadership,” Hon. Nhial Deng told the media.
“The best way to make everybody understand that justice is being rendered, being seen to be done, is to have a trial before a civilian court in an open sitting,” Hon. Ruben Madol, justice minister and chairperson of the seven-member investigative committee said.
“That’s what we mean here, because these are issues affecting and impacting on the people.” Hon. Ruben Madol emphasized.
The Sherikat shooting fitted two sub-drinka tribe communities of Dinka-Bor and Dinka-Bhar el Ghazal and it quickly became a matter of public concern as members of the two communities began to attack one another in areas like Juba and Bor town, Jonglei State.
At least two members of the armed forces including a presidential guard and a retired police major general have been gunned down in what is alleged to be a revenge killing of Lt. Col. Lual Akook Wol Kiir.
Other senior members of the army and national security have been implicated and are being investigated in a case that has been file with the Supreme Court of South Sudan.
This committee was formed in response to protests in both the national capital Juba and Jonglei State capital to investigate the Sherikat shooting; however, another investigation committee has been formed within the police services to investigate the accused who were allegedly involved in the killing of Lt. Col. Lual Akook Wol.