The lifting of the state of emergency in Gok State has resulted in insecurity in the area, an official has said.
State of emergency is a situation of national danger or disaster in which a government suspends normal constitutional procedures in order to regain control.
In December 2017, President Salva Kiir declared a month state of emergency in some states of the Bahr el Ghazal region following months of brutal communal clashes.
The states were Wau, Gogrial, Aweil East, Tonj and Gok.
The imposed state of emergency included a disarmament process aimed at collecting small arms from the hands of the civilians.
In May this year, Kiir lifted the state of emergency in the aforementioned areas.
The Minister of Information in Gok State, John Madol says since then, civilians have been roaming with their guns, a situation that cost lives of soldiers recently.
“Given the lifting of the state of emergency, everybody is now carrying a gun,” Madol told Eye Radio.
At the weekend, an SSPDF force that was driving “blood compensation cattle” to the state capital, Cueibet, were attacked by armed civilians, leaving nine soldiers dead.
Madol called for continued disarmament in the area.
“The army should confiscate all the illegal firearms in the hands of civilians despite the lifting of the state of emergency,” he stated.
However, previous disarmament across the country proved futile after armed youth reportedly ran to the neighboring areas to avoid the exercise.
Others are said to have acquired lots of firearms over the years of conflict. Hence, a youth would hand over only one gun to the disarmament forces and hive up the rest.
According to reports, cattle keepers are so adamant to give their weapons as they use them to protect their livestock from raiders and wild animals.
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