March 24, 2014 (JUBA) – Security officials in South Sudan on Sunday conducted house to house searches for weapons in operation aimed at obtaining illegal arms among residents on the capital, Juba.
The early morning swoop, which took many unaware, also saw several checkpoints created on roads within Juba, limiting up and down movements.
Over the last few weeks, however, Juba has experienced less shootings compared to the early days of the mid-December conflict and the weeks that followed.
Several citizens, in series of interviews with Sudan Tribune, did admit the search was peacefully conducted with not reported cases of the use of violence or force.
A joint operation of South Sudan army (SPLA) and personnel from the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID), prisons, and wildlife services, the search mainly targeted residences in Juba and its outskirts.
Phillip Aguer, the spokesperson of South Sudan army, described the exercise as normal, saying it was meant to rid the capital of insecurity threats.
"I don’t think there should be any cause of alarm of fear. This is a normal exercise to ensure our citizens are protected so from insecurity," he said.
Meanwhile, the Police spokesperson, Monday Enoka said security personnel seized thousands of firearms, drugs and forgery machines during the three-day operation.
"We recovered a big quantity of arms. It is still too early to know the numbers because it’s huge and we haven’t counted them, but there are thousands", he was quoted saying.
"It is surprising that civilians were in possession of weapons such as RPGs, automatic rifles and grenades. "These are weapons for major assaults", he added.