By Manyang Mayom
April 13, 2011 (RUMBEK) - A committee mandated by government of Southern Sudan has started investigations into clashes in February 2010 between SPLA soldiers and local communities in Cueibet County of Lakes state that killed Gok-Dinka Paramount chief Jok Dau Kachuol. The committee will also investigate clashes between SPLA soldiers in Akot payam of Rumbek East County.
As well as killing the Gok-Dinka paramount chief dozens of civilians were killed and several others injured.
Head of the committee, Judge James Alalah said that, his team is entrusted with the responsibility to find out the root cause for the clashes both in Cueibet and Akot payam. Judge Alalah said the committee will give the facts to government of Southern Sudan as soon as possible so the region’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit can decide what action to take.
Judge Alalah said “this committee is the fact finding committee. We are going to collect data and evidence. After all, the committee will write to president and presidency will find take decision on what to do.”
Alalah assured the local community that his team will carry out its work without any influence from any source, adding that the committee will only require the cooperation of the local community in order to bring the culprits to book. He stressed that they are working hard to produce real information about the cause of three clashes between the SPLA soldiers and the civilians which occurred.
The Judge assured the community, “we don’t have any connection with anybody neither government of Southern Sudan nor state. We are going to work collectively and we just need cooperation from community. We will work imperially”.
The order for the enquiry was made by the President of the government of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit with the aim of finding the root causes of the conflicts that had lead to the dead of Gok-Dinka paramount chief and the civilians kills.
At the time officials told Sudan Tribune that the fighting was triggered by raids by the Rek Dinka ethnic group against a camp occupied by Gok Dinka cattle herders in the remote Bahr Gel area of Lakes state.
The Gok-Dinka then attempted to reclaimed the weapons that had been taken off them in a disarmament program but came into conflict with the police and army.
Further fighting broke out after the chief’s death became known.