July 26, 2012 (BENTIU) - An armed man suspected to be an ex-soldier was shot dead by South Sudan’s army on Wednesday in Unity State’s Mayom County after he shot and wounded two women in their homes.
In the fire fight between the armed man and South Sudan’s army - SPLA - two other people were injured.
Mayom County Commissioner, Martin Machot Deng, told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that the man, while drunk, shot the women after they refused him alcohol.
SPLA soldiers, including the military police heard the gunshots and responded to the incident, the commissioner said.
"They went and try to apprehended him to capture him, but he refused to be arrested" and opened fire on them. The South Sudan Police Services and SPLA fought back fatally shooting him, he said.
Commissioner Deng claims that the armed man was not a member of the SPLA and that he was an ex-soldier who had kept his gun illegally in the town.
Deng said the situation was now calm but there was still confusion over the cause of the shooting.
The commissioner added that local authorities held an emergency meeting following the fire fight and have taken the extra precaution of having more police patrols over the next few nights.
Since May 2010 Mayom County has been the base for the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), a rebel group which has brought instability to the area.
South Sudan accuse the SSLA of being backed by Khartoum, an allegation the rebel group and neighbouring Sudan deny.
This year South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit has made disarmament of the civilian population one of his priorities. As a result of decades of civil war small arms are widespread in the worlds newest nation.
However the disarmament process in Mayom County and other parts of Unity State were put on hold after Juba and Khartoum clashed in April over the disputed border oil area of Heglig/Panthou.