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SSPDF warns soldiers against illegal checkpoints

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Friday, March 20, 2020

Soldiers manning a checkpoint.

The spokesperson of the army has warned unauthorized individuals or soldiers who have put up illegal checkpoints within Juba of serious consequences.

This comes after some soldiers allegedly mounted illegal checkpoints on Wednesday along the Juba – Yei road, next to Seven House and Imatong Gas depot.

Eyewitnesses identified the men as members of the Presidential Guards, Tiger, and other SSPDF soldiers because of the uniform they wore.

It is said the soldiers demand driving licenses and logbooks from unsuspecting motorists. They also question drivers over tinted windows and demand bribes.

According to the law, it is not the prerogative of the army, rather that of the traffic police to deal with motorists.

Responding to the complaints, the SSPDF spokesperson, says he is not aware of such activities by the soldiers.

“…only forces from the Joint Operations are authorized to erect checkpoints,” said Major General Lul Ruai Koang.

He described the act by the suspected soldiers as illegal and would attract unspecified consequences.

“If there are some individuals who established illegal checkpoint they must dismantle them, otherwise once they are apprehended they will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” he warned.

In June 2019, the Minister of Information said motorists using vehicles with factory tints are exempted from the cabinet order that had earlier banned them.

The army in South Sudan is yet to undergo thorough training.

The 2019 peace deal requires the proper training and deployment of unified forces that will protect VIPs and civilians in urban areas. It also provides for the demilitarizing of Juba and other major towns in the country.

But the process has been stalled since last year.

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