January 1, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudanese celebrated the New Year quietly without reports of large scale violence, resulting in appreciation of successful security efforts.
- President Salva Kiir Mayardit (R) joins the congregation during Christmas prayers at Kator church in Juba, South Sudan. Dec 25, 2010 (Photo: Larco Lomoyat)
Security in Juba was ramped up with deployment of the army, national security service officers and the country’s police throughout the capital city.
People turned out late into the night in large numbers in Juba and went to various locations for parties.Importantly, no celebratory gunshots were fired in Juba following orders from Bilpam that it will clamp down hard on rogues.
In Torit, Bentiu, Bor, Malakal, Yei, Yambio, Wau, Maridi and Renk all was quiet.
Last week, the South Sudanese army in collaboration with different security organs have beefed security, setting up check points, searching and seizing illicit weapons from those carrying them without permission.
Acting SPLA spokesperson,Dominic Santo, described the exercise as a disarmament campaign in Juba to recover illegal weapons and to boost security situation in the capital before New Year’s celebrations.
The measure comes in the wake of escalating insecurity and rampant killings and clashes between government forces and armed bandits at night in the city, which have led to several deaths since Dec. 2013.
“The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) with other members of organized forces has begun an operation of collecting illegal firearms from civilians in Juba,” said Santo.
He said they believe there is a huge amount of illegal firearms in the wrong hands in the city, which has seen a rise in robberies and attacks from armed bandits.
The army will not hesitate to use “necessary force” if necessary, he stressed