September 25, 2009 (JUBA) — The Vice President of Southern Sudan government condemned the attack on Duk Padiet in Jonglei state last Sunday by armed groups that has left over 160 people dead and more than 80 wounded according to the latest figure released by authorities in Juba on Friday.
- Riek Machar
Machar, who was in Khartoum for talks on the referendum law witha delegaion from the NCP led Second Vice-President, described the incident as "unfortunate" and said it is a result of proliferation of arms in the hands of the civil population in Southern Sudan.
He said the solution is for the government to disarm the civil population, not only in Jonglei state, but also throughout the whole of Southern Sudan and strengthen the law enforcement agencies instead of the civilians themselves taking the law into their own hands.
Southern Sudan is faced by inter and intra-tribal armed conflicts involving almost all the ten states in the region.
The upsurge of such violence worries officials in the region that it may fail the conduct of both the upcoming general elections in 2010 and the referendum in 2011.
When asked why these incidences of inter and intra-tribal fighting have been going on for years without the government taking the action to fully disarm them, Machar said the government had tried before but this could be the year for a comprehensive action.