1st October 2020
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20 die in disarmament clashes in Tonj

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: Sunday, August 9, 2020

File: A stockpile of small arms seized from civilians in a past disarmament exercise.

Authorities in Tonj area of Warrap sate say at least 20 people have been killed in clashes between the disarmament team and armed civilians.

The SSPDF launched the disarmament exercise in Warrap in July due to the militarized nature of communal violence there.

But most civilians in the Tonj area have allegedly disregarded an order by the disarmament team to hand over their arms.

The former commissioner of Rulnyang County says yesterday’s fighting in Roljyang started when two civilians were shot dead.

The incident reportedly sparked a fierce fight between the army and armed civilians that lasted for more than four hours, leading to the death of 20 people.

Hundreds of women and children have fled into the bushes, according to the former county commissioner.

“Yesterday [Saturday] at 4 pm when they were fighting, 20 people were killed and the wounded people were not counted,” Aguek told  Eye Radio from Tonj town on Sunday.

“They also killed cows and burnt houses to ashes and this morning [Sunday] also, they resumed because they increased the number of forces.”

The army headquarter in Juba was not immediately available for comments on the alleged clashes.

A recent survey by South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms suggests that the communities are resisting disarmament arguing the government does not offer enough protection for them and their cattle.

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