April 2, 2012 (BOR) - Sudan Sudan’s army (SPLA) announced on Monday that civilians will be arrested if they are found to carrying weapons after 30 April. Those who attempt to escape disarmament or run away from the SPLA will be met with non-lethal force, the commander of the Jonglei disarmament campaign, Kuol Dim Kuol, said on Monday.
- General Kuol Dim Kuol, speaking at Malualchat SPLA camp in Bor, April 2, 2012 (ST)
Kuol said that the first phase of disarmament has ended in the Bor, Twice East and Duk counties, which are populated mainly by the Dinka Bor tribe. The campaign started 14 March in Bor, Jonglei’s capital in response to large scale clashes between rival cattle herding groups.
Last week Kuol announced that 9,326 illegal rifles had been collected from civilians in Jonglei State as the tense disarmament campaign enters its third week.
In December and January South Sudan’s army (SPLA) was unable to stop 6,000 armed men, mainly from the Luo-Nuer tribe, enter Pibor County home of the Murle displacing thousands, setting fire to buildings, and steeling cows.
Reprisal attacks on Luo Nuer and Dinka areas followed leaving more that 100,000 people displaced. Violence in June and August last year killed over 1,000 people.
Over 600 weapons been collected from Pibor County have reached the SPLA in Bor with more expected to arrive in the coming days.
MEN WHO RUN AWAY WILL BE SHOT
“I am appealing to all our people, those who are dashing SPLA to hand their guns over to he SPLA. The last day is the 30th April. If the SPLA, Police, or local authority gets any one holding a gun, he will be taken to court”, Kuol said.
He also warned young men who run away from the SPLA with the guns when the military enter an area that this resistance would be met by force.
“There are some youth, whenever the SPLA go to them in the cattle camps; they run away with the guns. We will consider it as a resistant to the disarmament. Strong orders are given to the SPLA. Don’t kill him, disable him, shoot him at the leg so that you can take the gun from him”, Kuol stressed.
He said the SPLA will continue to collect guns until the end of the month and urged people to corporate fully with the forces within the remaining period to finish the exercise so quickly.
"We want to finish this quickly because the SPLA has got another task of defending the nation from external aggression", Dim added in reference to the clashes last week on South Sudan’s border with Sudan. .
He added that the over 3,000 SPLA forces who were operating in Bor, Twic East and Duk Counties will be moved to Pigi and Fangak Counties for disarmament very soon.
- Weapons collected from Pibor County during the Jonglei State, displayed at Malualchat SPLA camp. 2 April 2012 (ST)
The commander of the disarmament, Kuol Dim said that so far 645 guns from the Murle populated Pibor County have reached his base with more being held by SPLA forces at cattle camps in the area.
The guns from Pibor were displayed "so that no community should say SPLA is only collecting guns from one side”, he added. Previous campaigns have been hampered by fears that some tribes would be more thoroughly disarmed than others.
A weekly UN report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan described the period of 23-29 March "calm but unpredictable" in terms of security but noted that a "comparatively low numbers of weapons have been collected".
Kuol gave details on Monday of the arms that had been collected in the past few days: “We have one PKM light machine gun, we have 245 G-3 rifles, 300 AK47 rifles, and 11 Chinese rifles,” he said.
Last week the SPLA announced that had collected over 9,000 rifles by the end of the second week of the campaign, which was started in mid-March.
The briefing by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said there are that the Murle and Lou Nuer communities are hiding weapons and resisting disarmament.
OCHA said that humanitarian agencies "are concerned that clashes may break out when the Murle meet with the Lou Nuer youths, as both sides are still armed".
After clashes in the Wanding area of Jonglei State in March 36,000 people are due to begin receiving food rations, with 1,500 households getting non-food items. Emergency drugs have reached Akobo hospital UNOCHA said.