September 9, 2016 (YAMBIO) - Acting governor of Gbudue state in Western Equatoria has issued an order authorizing all security and organized forces and any citizen in the state to shoot to kill any criminal found committing a crime in their neighborhood.
- Gbudue state governor Patrick Zamoi speaking to journalists at in Nzara airstrip March 4, 2016 (ST)
The harsh and deadly order came in the awake of a series of incidents during which seven civilians have been killed by unknown gunmen in less than a week in Yambio county in particular.
Addressing the security and organized forces in Yambio on Thursday, the state minister of local government and law enforcement, Jackson Ezekiel Buguwa, ordered all the security organs to “shoot to kill any criminal found committing murder or shooting gun in the residential area.”
“Anybody who has a gun and you have seen anybody who is entering the neighbor’s house who is breaking into somebody’s house who is shooting gun, we have given orders for all of us to shoot at that person and kill him instantly,” he said.
“Not only that, all those arrested who are in police custody must be dealt with by firing-squad in the public so that people can see that justice has prevailed and to pass message to the criminals to desist from criminal activities,” he added.
Minister Buguwa blamed the neighbors of the young man who was murdered with his family on Tuesday night for failing to come out and take the law into their own hands in defending their dear ones.
He also said nobody can deny the fact that people have weapons in their houses; because the government did not conduct disarmament in Western Equatoria due to the volatile situation of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and presence of Ambororo who have been “terrorizing” people in the state.
“As a government we cannot stay aside watching our people being killed, neighbors cannot stay while their neighbors are being murdered we have to protect our people, we have to protect properties and protect our towns.”
He reminded that the government has also issued another order, banning boda-boda [motorbike] riders from operating beyond 9Pm until 6 am in order to protect lives of the boda-boda riders and also to give chance to security organs to do night patrols in Yambio town and in the state as a whole.
Series of security meetings have been held this week and resolutions have been passed at the state level which resulted into calling for general parade with all security organs in which the order was given to them to shoot to kill any criminal found committing a crime.
The order has raised fears and panic among the civil population with many saying it will attract even more killings because criminals and others seeking revenge will use it as a way to kill and then claim that it was an act of defence.
The minister however cautioned anyone not to take this order as a chance to revenge and kill innocent persons and warned that anyone found implementing the order to the contrary must be dealt with if found guilty after investigation.
“Peace must be promoted and create conducive environment for the citizens to do their business without fear,” he said.
Insecurity in the state has increased for the past two weeks where citizens continued to live in fear and panic as gunshots could be heard at night and people were being killed in their houses without looting any property.
The government has so far arrested at least five suspects in connection with the killings and causing insecurity in the state.