August 18, 2014 (RUMBEK) – Targeted killings are on the rise across Rumbek, the capital of South Sudan’s Lakes state, with seven people losing their lives since Sunday.
The killings occurred in Rumbek Central, Cueibet and Rumbek East counties, but police are yet to detain any suspects.
State security agents have blamed poor relations with host communities who remain reluctant to share information on crime-related matters.
The criminal investigation department (CID) has confirmed that the killings were carried out by unknown gunmen and unnecessary road ambushes have increased.
The officer who spoke on condition for anonymity said that four people killed by unknown gunmen in separate incidents in Rumbek Central and Rumbek East counties on Sunday.
According to the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, two people were killed on Tuesday in Makuragar village near Akot payam (district) while they were farming, with another two people killed in Timkuac and Ayen cattle camp respectively .
Meanwhile, three people were killed in a suspected revenge attack in Cueibet county’s Toch Panpouth village.
Panpouth, in Pagor payam, is located in the northern part of Cueibet county, about 70km from Cueibet town.
Thousands of cows belonging to Rumbek North county cattle owners residing in Rumbek Central county were seen being driven away by police on Saturday as part of efforts to quell ongoing insecurity in the state.
MPs and community leaders representing Rumbek North county in the state legislative assembly protested the decision, saying ethic communities were being deliberately targeted and isolated.
Meanwhile, pastoralist youth from Rumbek North county have herded their cows into Rumbek town to escape floods affecting the remote cattle camp of Maper county, about 120km from Rumbek Central.
MP and former minister for information Marik Nanga Marik said the decision had isolated the Pakam community from the state government.
There are growing calls for South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, to relieve Lakes state’s military caretaker governor, Matur Chut Dhuol, from his position, but these calls have so far been overlooked.
Local police say state authorities have become increasingly isolated, with the public refusing to share information with law enforcement officers, making in difficult to investigate killings and maintain law and order in the region.