Home | News    Wednesday 12 December 2012

Western Bahr el Ghazal police commissioner allegedly fired over handling of violent protests


December 12,2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s police authorities on Tuesday claimed the dismissal of Western Bahr el Ghazal police commissioner, Sabit Joseph Makelele, had taken place allegedly for failing to contain violent protests in Wau on Sunday.

JPEG - 46.3 kb
Truck destroyed in Western Bahr el Ghazal protests, December 9, 2012 (ST)

Several state officials claimed Makelele was dismissed on the recommendation of the state governor to the central government, charging police authorities under his leadership of failing to contain the situation from the onset. 

According to a former commissioner from the area, 25 people were killed in the protests.

Minister of interior, Alison Manani Magaya confirmed the report but claimed that Makelele has been merely suspended for administrative reasons. “There is a difference between dismissal and suspension. The police commissioner you are talking about has not been dismissed as far I am concern. What I know is that he has been suspended for administrative reasons, which cannot be discussed in the media,” Magaya told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

Western Bahr el Ghazal minister of information, who is also spokesperson for the state government, Derik Alfred Uya, also confirmed the reports, saying it is true police commissioner in the state “did not show control” of the situation. “It was unfortunate that this happened while relevant authorities could not show control of the situation," Uya told Sudan Tribune from Wau.
Uya revealed that of those who died in the demonstration which took place on Sunday morning were eight, six died on the spot in front of the South Sudan Bank and two others died on their way to hospital. He expressed the disappointment and sorrowfulness of the government for the deaths and said clashes occurred because protesters were targeting the prison and the Central Bank branch.

“They were targeting the State Secretariat General with the intention of burning it. They were actually behaving violently. They burned the police camp in Hai Kosti on Saturday, set fire to the house of the head of the criminal investigation department in the state and killed him with his whole family. They killed the bodyguard of the governor before that. The guard was killed the same way they killed the head of the criminal investigation department. He was killed with whole family on the farm of the governor,” Uya explained.

He accused politicians of using innocent civilians as, he claimed, politicians would benefit from the relocation of the county headquarters to the area, stressing those rejecting the transfer of the county headquarters to Bagari, are the “real enemies” of development and stability of not only the state but the whole country. The relocation is what initially instigated the protests.

“Western Bahr el Ghazal is not an independent state. It is part of the central government. So these people must know what they are doing is not trying to destabilise only Western Bahr el Ghazal state, it will be insecurity in the whole country. [... ]And they must understand a problem in one part of the country can be a concern in another part, just like a body with other parts. A pain in one part of the body disturbs the rest of the body,” Uya explained. 

He wondered why the police authorities in the state allowed protesters as they did have "documents from the government allowing them to go out for peaceful demonstrations."

He said the demonstration started in the Jebel Kheir and Kalfario areas on 8 December with the burning of the police camp in Jebel Kheir before spreading to Wau town on 9 December. “They attacked police and burned all their properties in the centre and went off to close the three major roads leading out to Western Bahr el Ghazal, Bagari and Raja. They stopped commercial vehicles and prevented local traders from getting out of their houses to come to the market”, he said 

He claimed that protesters burned commercial vehicles coming to the state on the Bussery road from an area called Ngomba. “They burned more than 26 commercials trucks to ashes, burned tyres of trailers and denied 53 trucks entry into the state,” he explained.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 12 December 2012 06:52, by zulu

    NCP mentality must not be tolerated in SOuth Sudan. Brutality towards innocent civilians is against the very principles SPLA under Garang fought the NCP. Stop killing unarmed civilians.

    repondre message

  • 12 December 2012 07:03, by wang

    Fair enough if he did get fired. Killing the citizens on their rights are big crime and Joseph Makelele is qualify for death penalty by shooting

    repondre message

  • 12 December 2012 07:58, by Fallensoilder

    And why are citizens acting like wild southafrican protesting to get their money raised, the killing of public official and whole families can not be accepted. Mow down those who bring lawlessness......... who are to blame....

    repondre message

  • 12 December 2012 08:09, by Takinom

    Is this the freedom we fought and suffered for half a century? this was inhumane. Police should have fired teargas instead of life bullets. Government have to do something otherwise we got ourselves sliding into strewn State of (Azania) S. Sudan

    repondre message

  • 12 December 2012 09:53, by wen yar

    How many people being killed every corner of South Sudan?
    you idiot Alison Manani you also deserved to be suspended the failure of police commissioner is your failure if you don’t know what you are doing.

    repondre message

  • 12 December 2012 10:31, by Makunon

    It is not a peaceful demonstration if those counts are really murdered according to the Minister of Information.Police can’t keep watching while their commanders being killed with their families as mentioned, so it a drew game.

    repondre message

    • 12 December 2012 10:56, by Kurnyel

      I know this guy he is a right man but the problem is that these people called Dinka when the fail to do something, the blame others instead of blaming themselves. Mr commissioner, reign and join the Bahr el Gazel liberation forces who are currently in training West of the region, you will be a big commander soon.

      repondre message

  • 13 December 2012 00:04, by PLO Georgori

    Well, it is bad that a number of people died in the hand of police, but citizen should also know that it is their obligation to respect their elected officials and all government workers including police force. Setting things on fire is not good, but killing either can’t make it better. It is very unforturnate situation, hope they all realize their mistake.

    repondre message

  • 13 December 2012 01:49, by Peter Nhiany

    This is a terrible administrative incapability to handle what is surrounding the killing of innocent people in Wau. Dimissal of the police commissioner will not justify such vicious barbaric reckless killing of civillians. The State government must do comprehensive investigation to find out what exactly happened leading to the killing. Justice must be served to bring those nitwit to justice.

    repondre message

  • 13 December 2012 07:53, by whatsayyou

    First of all am very sorry for the families who loss lives of their beloved one.And for sure we are not a democratic country otherwise gov,t would have respect the people’s right police commissioner and governor who plan this must be accountable for the killing of those unarmed civilians in Western Bahr elGazal.

    repondre message

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Darfur, the most ‘successful’ genocide in a century 2017-04-21 23:16:47 By Eric Reeves The Darfur region of western Sudan has been recognized since 2004 as the site of genocide since 2004 by dozens of political officials and bodies (including the U.S. Congress and (...)

Open Letter to AU and IGAD: Festus Mogae be relieved and JMEC disbanded 2017-04-21 23:12:39 By Dak Buoth It is an opportune time for President Festus Mogae, the Chair of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation commission (JMEC) to pack and go back where he came from. And if he so wishes to (...)

The Nile Basin In Transformation: research uptake and what’s at stake? 2017-04-20 14:55:55 Mohamed s. M. Yassin (Ph.D) The Nile basin territories have witnessed huge transformation since prehistoric era and continue to be subjected to enormous transformations. The transformations (...)


Latest Press Releases

HRW denounces "collective punishment" in South Sudan’s Wau 2017-04-15 07:06:48 Human Right Watch South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau (Nairobi, April 14, 2017) – Government soldiers and allied militias (...)

Statement by South Sudanese Communist Party on the National Dialoguel 2017-03-22 05:44:42 The Communist Party of South Sudan On the Initiative of the National Dialogue The initiative taken by the President of the Republic of South Sudan declaring a need for a national dialogue is an (...)

An Appeal to President of the Republic of South Sudan 2017-03-15 07:22:45 Dear. Mr. President, I write to appeal to you for the release of political detainees now in the custody of the National Security Service at Jebel and other detention facilities. In doing this, I (...)


Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.