SSPDF begins disarmament exercise to clear illegal firearms in Lakes State

More than 300 illegal firearms collected by traditional chiefs | Photo: File
More than 300 illegal firearms collected by traditional chiefs | Photo: File

August 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–The South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) have begun a disarmament process aimed at collecting illegal firearms from the civilian population in their areas.

“The Governor of Lakes State, Hon. Makur Kulang Liei, has officiated the launching of disarmament process in Lakes State today in Rumbek Town,” said Mayor Muou Adhor, Press Secretary in Lakes State.

“The governor, prior this exercise made several meetings in some parts of Lakes State where he urged the traditional authorities and youth to voluntarily hand over their arms to the government. The launching is a part of president Salva Kiir Mayardit order which called for the total eradication of illegal guns in the hands of notorious youth across the country,” Muou noted in a statement.

Addressing the citizens at Rumbek Freedom Square, Governor Kulang called on the chiefs to continue their well-started efforts to ensure that guns are taken from the civilians by the disarmament authorities.

The governor applauded the chiefs from Rumbek East County for voluntarily collecting 395 different types of riffles within two days. He urged the rest of the chiefs to follow suits in their respective areas.

“The governor appreciated the corporation between the government of Lakes State and disarmament commanders led by Lt.Gen. Rin Tueny Mabor for allowing State leadership to engage the youth for a peaceful disarmament.”

South Sudan’s conflict that began in 2013 has created scope for the illegal proliferation of firearms in the country.

US issues Travel Advisory for S. Sudan over magnitude of crimes

United States Embassy issues statement on the ongoing situation in South Sudan | Photo: USA Embassy

August 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–The US government has issued a travel warning for South Sudan over the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and violent crimes in the country.

In a statement, Department of State updated its travel advisory and warned US citizens to be extremely cautious when considering travel to South Sudan.

“That travel advisory recommends that American Citizens not travel to South Sudan due to COVID-19, crime, kidnapping, and armed conflict. The Travel Advisory further notes that the U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens.”

“American citizens that do decide to travel to South Sudan are advised to register with the Department of State’s Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) and to contact the U.S. Embassy should they need emergency assistance.”

Since last year, there has been an increasing number of crimes fueled by inter-communal violence in the country.

Among the gross and heinous crimes committed was the murder of three children, who were ruthlessly murdered in cold blood by an immediate family member.

In July, the government ordered a nationwide disarmament to end widespread proliferation of firearms in the hands of the civilian population.