August 24, 2014 (JUBA) – At least two South Sudanese soldiers were killed on Saturday following a random shoot-out that sparked widespread panic in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, sources told Sudan Tribune.
- Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA)
The incident, which occurred at Wanyjok market in Aweil East county, disrupted local business activities as residents fled for safety.
Eye witnesses and local authorities attributed the incident to a drunken soldier said to have indiscriminately fired at revelers before he was eventually shot after he resisted attempts to have him disarmed.
Military sources familiar with the incident, however, said the incident could mainly be attributed to the frustration among several frontline soldiers, many of whose welfare have not properly been addressed.
Sources further claimed fallen soldier had repeatedly said he would not accept orders asking him to go and fight those who have taken up arms to fight for democratic reforms in the country.
Ajou Deng, a resident of Wanyjok who witnessed the incident, said he did not know the exact cause of the shoot-out, which left two dead.
“I don’t know exactly what ensued between the two sides but it did result in the firing a weapon that hit one of the military police who was responding to the shoot-out,” he told Sudan Tribune by phone.
Deng identified the dead military police officer as Majok Maluil, while the soldier who initiated the shoot-out reportedly hailed from Waragany, an area north-west of Wanjyok.
“The shoot out today reinforces the fact that our law enforcement officers’ jobs are dangerous and you never know what they might encounter,” he said, adding that the incident caused a lot of panic in the area.