21st April 2021
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Bars operate illegally by paying security officers— residents

Author: Obaj Okuj/Ayite Susan | Published: Thursday, February 25, 2021

File: Young revelers party at a club in Juba, South Sudan. Credit|Quartz Media, Inc.


Some residents of Munuki area in Juba have accused some security officers of illegally allowing bars to operate despite the surge in coronavirus cases.

Those who spoke to Eye Radio say they witnessed officers charging bar owners about 10,000 pounds to allow the drinking spots to open.

In Munuki, the front doors of renowned bars are often closed, but the back doors are open for selected customers.

This is despite an ongoing ban on all social gatherings and businesses that attract crowds such as bars, nightclubs, shisha stalls, birthday parties, betting, or playing cards and dominos.

Wearing of face mask is also mandatory and the public is told to observe social distancing while avoiding handshakes.

But residents say some of the bars and drinking joints are secretly operating, with the alleged support of some security officers.

In some areas of Munuki, officers in uniform would be seen manning the entrance of a bar after extorting money from the bar owners.

In response, the national police spokesperson, Major General Daniel Justin says such acts are a violation of the public health orders.

He advised the public to report such incidents to the police headquarters so that immediate action is taken.

“This may happen, but the person who noticed it as a citizen, your duty is to report it to the concerned authorities and we as the police will take measures,” said Mag-Gen. Justin.

“With this night patrol, we also have military police to monitor the behaviors of the police personnel, regarding harassment, bribery, and intimidation of the citizen because it is forbidden.”

Earlier this month, the police said security agencies will ensure strict enforcement of lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

This was decided in a joint security meeting chaired by the Inspector General of Police General Majak Akech and the chief of Military Intelligence Lieutenant General Ring Mabor in Juba.

They were expected to ensure public buses carry passengers to half capacity, while Boda-bodas carry cargo or strictly one passenger wearing a face mask.

The officers were also directed to stop any sporting events -including Sunday church prayers, Salat al Juma Mosque prayers, funerals, wedding ceremonies and political events.”

But the taskforce has observed that the public generally violates the lockdown measures.

Major General Daniel Justin warned security officers against not enforcing the public health orders for short-term benefits.

“If we arrest them, the law will take its due course because this is illegal and once taken to the court, they will be tried, whether it is a citizen or security.”

South Sudan’s cumulative coronavirus cases are nearing 10,000.

The public is advised to strictly continue observing preventive measures such as wearing facemasks, staying away from crowded places, handwashing with soap and water, and sanitize.

You can report any suspected case in your area through the free telephone number: 6-6-6-6.

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