August 16, 2016 (MARIDI) – The police in Maridi county of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria state have arrested five youth suspected to have cut down the state flag, which was raised two months ago.
- A youth holds the South Sudanese flag as he waits for the start of independence celebrations in the capital, Juba, on 9 July 2011 (AP)
The flag symbolized Maridi, one of South Sudan’s controversially created states.
Police in Maridi have reportedly launched an investigation into the matter and have vowed to bring those responsible to face justice.
“The state flag which was raised last two months was cut down on Thursday night by unknown people, but the Police arrested five suspects youth who are under investigation now in police custody,” an eyewitness told Sudan Tribune Wednesday.
The incident came months after the state government raised another flag in the same area, despite the challenges of insecurity.
The eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, said citizens in the county were now living in fear and panic for the past one week amid report that security agents were hunting rebels suspected to have links with the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar.
Other sources say the state government has cut off all mobile networks in Maridi making it difficult to contact the state authorities. Unconfirmed reports say government soldiers looted civilians’ properties, including food and non-food items in Maridi county.