July 28, 2016 (JUBA) -Three supporters of General Taban Deng Gai, newly appointed First Vice President to replace Riek Machar in a controversial process, were seriously tortured and were beaten nearly to death by groups of internally displaced person (IDPs) after discovering their underground campaign and bribery of other members of people staying the United Nations camps.
- IGAD chief mediator Seyoum Mesfin (L) and the SPLM In Opposition’s lead negotiator, Taban Deng Gai, attend the resumption of South Sudan talks in Addis Ababa on 11 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)
An eyewitness told Sudan Tribune that the three men were caught by a villante group, known as ‘Nuer Four’ or N4 police who have been mandated by the community to put law and order in the protection of civilians site.
He said one man had been reported with serious injuries in the body after the local police in the camp discovered their activities and beat him.
It is unclear why civilians seeking protection at civilians’ site resulted in such activities, but officials there said people are deeply divided over recent decision to appoint the SPLM-IO former chief negotiator to replace Machar, with overwhelming majority in the UN camps still supporting Machar.
A close allied to Taban Deng GAi in Juba has confirmed that the incident occurred, but added that “it is a minor case.”
He said most of those seeking protection at civilians’ site in Juba and other states are very desperate about the life in the camp.
“You know most of the civilians in the camp are not happy about the recent development of appointing Gen. Taban Deng Gai as the first vice president to replace Dr. Riek Machar Teny in the Transitional Government of National Unity,” he told Sudan Tribune.
He however added that the new first vice president “is progressing well despite all condemnation by the members of supporters of Riek Machar.”
However, residents in the camp told Sudan Tribune that the situation at UN camps in Juba remain tense as supporters of Taban Deng are being targeted. It is confirmed that most people in the UN camp are restricted to get out, but some politicians are accused of fuelling the situation.
They said the recent appointment of Gai is calculated to further divide the Nuer ethnic group into separate rival groups.