Home | News    Monday 20 July 2009

E. Equatoria’s legislators threatened by military officer

By Isaac Vuni

July 17, 2009 (JUBA) – Several legislators of Toposa in Eastern
Equatoria State, including the state’s SPLM Chairman Hon. Louis Lobong
were threatened with elimination by the Brigadier in charge of Torit
and Kapoeta, who accused them of promoting the rival SPLM-DC and
National Congress Party.

Among the legislators whom he threatened were Hon. Martin Lopir and
Hon. Paul Napon.

Hon. Lopir stated that the Brigadier threatened him through a
telephone call in which he said that Toposa legislators are
instigating their community to embrace SPLM-DC and the National
Congress Party in the state.

A source from within the state government who spoke on condition of
anonymity today remarked that tension between Toposa and Didinga
communities occurred from July 14 to 16. Some Toposa alleged that
Didinga have stolen over 200 cattle from them with the backing of SPLA
soldiers under instruction from Brigadier Jongok.

They allege that Brigadier Jongok had demanded food support from the
Toposa Community in order to feed the army.

The government source added that the presence of the SPLA forces in
Kapoeta and Lauro is meant to protect and minimize cattle raiding
between the two communities and any other intruders.

Reportedly, the Commissioner of Kapoeta Mark Lokitoi and Commissioner
of Luro County Fr. Moris Loguti are working very hard to defuse the
heightened tension.

So far one Toposa was killed; seven were seriously injured and are
recovering in the Diocese of Torit’s health centre while two have been
taken to Kakuma refugee camp for further treatment in Kenya.

The Toposa people have forwarded the case to the state governor for
quickly reaching an amicable solution before things go out of control.

The incident comes in the context of complaints by the recently
founded Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-Democratic Change (SPLM-DC)
that they do not have enough political space in which to operate.

(ST)