4th August 2020
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SSPDF on why it launched disarmament in Tonj first

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Friday, July 3, 2020

File: A cattle camp in South Sudan. Courtesy

The SSPDF has justified reasons why it launched the disarmament exercise in Warrap, saying the militarized nature of communal violence there prompted the army to act fast.

The Commander of the Disarmament Exercise says civilians around Tonj County are using heavy machinery to conduct cattle raid and kill each other.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner states that the nature of the intercommunal conflicts has been evolving in recent years, taking on an increasingly militarized character with military-style tactics and military-grade weapons.

It stressed that for peace in South Sudan to be durable, the government must act promptly.

This week, the SSPDF launched the disarmament exercise in Tonj North County of Warrap state.

It is targeting armed civilians in Lakes, Terekeka, Warrap and Jonglei areas.

This is in an attempt to end the circle of violence in the restive states.

“People are asking why the disarmament in Tonj, what about people of Bentiu? It is because of the dangerous weapons in the hands of civilians, and the level of killing is too much,” said General Riny Tueny.

He asserted that the presence of heavy artilleries in the hands of civilians in Warrap is worrisome.

“Now we have these heavy artilleries in the bushes, we are going to use it for the disarmament process,” he said.

But previous interstate peace conferences called on the government to conduct a simultaneous disarmament exercise across the country.

They also called for the deployment of soldiers along the boundaries of the states to apprehend criminals.

The UN Human Rights Commission said in May that there has been an increase in intercommunal violence with more than 658 people killed, more than 452 wounded, and 592 abducted in 2020 alone.

The report revealed that 65 people have been subjected to sexual violence during the first quarter of 2020.

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