September 27, 2012 (RUMBEK) - South Sudan’s Lakes State says it has arrested the policemen involved in the pay-cut-related shooting that resulted in the injury of the Rumbek Central police inspector on 5 September.
- Lakes State Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agency Benjamin Makuer Mabor, 26 June 2012 (ST)
Benjamin Makuer Mabor, Lakes State’s Minister for Local Government and Law Enforcement said Thursday that 18 policeman have been arrested, disarmed and held at Rumbek Central Prison charged with involvement over a planned pay cut.
South Sudan has been looking at ways to reduce its spending since an oil dispute with Khartoum in January has left the Juba government without 98% of its income.
The two sides reached a new deal at the post-secession talks in Addis Ababa that concluded on Thursday, with the issues of disputed areas still unresolved. They were, however able to agree on the demilitarized border zone which was needed to trigger August’s oil deal.
South Sudan’s oil ministry estimates that it will take two to four months to resume production so the deal does not mean the young nation’s financial troubles will not be resolved over night.
As well as the shooting, Lakes State Wildlife Police beat up a Wildlife Police brigadier after reductions in their pay were announced. Four of the arrested officers are from the wildlife force with 14 from the police and riot police, Mabor said.
The state minister said that it was hoped that the arrests will instill more discipline in the police. The incident was one of the first reported violent incidents in response to Juba’s cuts to the police as part of the oil-dispute-enfroced austerity measures.
Mabor said that the government would “not tolerate" such "indiscipline" among the organized forces, adding that any officers found guilty of involvement will face dismissal, according to Police Code of Conduct 2009 law. Authorities were still looking to additional suspects, he noted.
During the civil war that led to South Sudan’s independence last year Minister Mabor was nicknamed “Urgent” for his energy in dealing with issues of indiscipline.
Mabor added that he wished he could deal with the indiscipline the way he did for the rebel SPLA, while they were fighting the Sudanese government in the two decade guerrilla conflict.
Now, he said, that there were "laws that control me now" regarding how heavily and swiftly he could respond.
CATTLE RAIDING TRIALS
The Lakes State Minister for Local Government and Law Enforcement Agency has issued an order to jail all suspected people who are involved in cattle raids and murders.
The decree comes after the state government has set up four special courts to settle murder cases and prosecute cattle thieves.
The Lakes State government has had to allocate funds to tackling insecurity that could have been spent on much needed investment in infrastructure and health care.
Minister Mabor said that the government needs to free the state from robbery and stop individuals undermining the law.
In order to jail people and suspected cattle raiders and murderers the state government has set up Special courts in Cueibet, Langcok which is mean to be (Border court) to settle cases of the Agar and Gok sections of the Dinka.
There are additional special courts in Rumbek Central County, Rumbek East County in (Adual), other court in Akot to settle cases between Atuot and Agar and other court in Yirol West County to settle cases in greater Yirol counties.
“Those special courts are very independent and they are being headed by person from different county” said minister Mabor.
"Cattle thieves are the cause of insecurity in Lakes state", he said. Lack of compensation for the families of murder victims is the overwhelming cause for counter raids and revenge attacks between communities.