September 8, 2013 (TURALEI) – Authorities in Warrap state have banned the South Sudan’s armed forces (SPLA) from carrying firearms in public places following a grenade attack last Thursday in which seven people sustained injuries in Twic county’s Aweng payam [district].
All casualties were taken to the local clinic for treatment and there have been no reports of any deaths, although some of the victims are said to be in a critical condition.
Twic county commissioner Malek Riing told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that the directives apply to carrying weapons inside the barracks and other places after working hours I an effort to avoid further incidents.
Malek said the incident occurred after an intoxicated policeman allegedly detonated a hand-held grenade following an argument after he was told to leave the market for being drunk.
“We have issued strong administrative directives that no civilians should go to where there are soldiers and no soldiers should be allowed to come to public places with firearms”, said Malek.
“We have sent this message to the commanding officer of the SPLA force in the area. We have also asked police forces and other organised forces to disseminate [the directives] among their respected units”, he added.
The commissioner named the seven victims of the 5 September attack as Yach Chol Tach, Chol Aguek Chol, Kuac Ngor Deng, Barac Kom Macham, Adhar Yak Mariak, Chol Deng and Malek.
He said the policeman, who has been identified as “Atem”, had detonated the grenade after a disagreement with a fellow colleague in the market.
It is alleged that the suspect became angry after his colleagues tried to persuade him to leave the marketplace and had returned home where he took the grenade before returning to the market to detonate the device.
“The situation was immediately brought under control since Thursday. We have managed to arrest the policeman who denoted the explosive. He is now under arrest while legal processes are being followed to hold [him] accountable [for his actions]”, said Malek.