September 6, 2012 (RUMBEK) - A group of 30 drunk policemen in Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State, on Thursday attacked and shoot in the arm Rumbek Central County’s Police Inspector, authorities have said. On Wednesday other forces beaten up a Wildlife Police brigadier, also after reductions in their pay was announced.
This is one of the first reported violence in response to Juba’s cuts to the police as part of austerity measures introduced after South Sudan lost 98% of its income when it stopped oil production as part of an oil dispute with Khartoum.
Lt-Col Mangar Kajeny Kamich, the Rumbek Central Police Inspector told Sudan Tribune that he was shot by a policeman, he identified as Malual Philip. Describing the incident as “terrible" and that Philip would be dealt with administratively and not by violence.
“I know who shot me and I am confident that he will not escape justice no matter what”. The shooting was triggered when police forces were informed about a pay cut in their monthly salary .
On Wednesday, members of South Sudan’s Wildlife Police beat-up their boss after he announced they would be receiving a salary decrease. An anonymous security official told Sudan Tribune that Rumbek Wildlife Brigadier Mabor Ruoric was beaten until the attackers were able to remove his rank badges from the shoulder of his uniform.
Lakes State Minister of Local government of Law enforcement Benjamin Makuer Mabor intervened on Wednesday by deploying the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) - South Sudan’s military - into Rumbek town.
Makuer explained that the shooting occurred inside Rumbek Police Headquarters and that no civilian’s were hurt. The minister said he was attending the Lakes State Council of Ministers discussing peace and reconciliation between the Dhur-ber and Dhur-chek ethnic groups when the "surprise" attack occurred.
“On Monday, there will be [a] general parade that will allow all organized forces to express themselves freely” said minister Makuer.
"The motive behind this shooting is to be investigated because [the policy of pay cut[s] was introduce[d] from above, and if anyone resist this instruction from Government of South Sudan, then we will ask him were is his/her coming from?"
There group of around 30 drunk police officers will be "held accountable" an will face "discipline" for the shooting, Makuer said.
A committees headed by Lakes State’s Police Commissioner, members of the National Security Service, Criminal Investigation Department and the Minister of Local government will investigate the incidents.
This is not the first time Rumbek police services have protested over salaries. In June, the Prisons Services Bridger Bol Ador was locked in a cell shots were fired over delays in paying salaries.
The state government responded to the shooting in June by dismissing the four prison officers behind the shooting and suspending the Director of Rumbek’s main prisons, Agrey Majok. After one month Majok was reinstalled.