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Dozens arrested after forceful disarmament in Imatong state

March 22, 2018(JUBA) - 17 youths in South Sudan’s Imatong state were arrested by the army on Wednesday and taken to an undisclosed location after they resisted forceful disarmament in the area, an armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) official has disclosed.

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The map of Eastern Equatoria state in red

In a statement, the SPLM-IO deputy spokesperson, Lam Paul Gabriel, claimed government forces targeted civilians in Longairo village.

“On 21/03/2018 at about 4:00 am, [government] forces besieged Longairo village to implement their orders, but the civilians resisted resulting a shootout that led to the death of the regime’s commander in charge 1st Lt Ofulla,” reads the statement.

He said some of the government forces, mainly from the division seven battalion, were commanded by the Imatong state governor, Tobiolo Oromo, claims Sudan Tribune could not independently verify.

During the attack civilians lost several items, including looted food.

“This instance of senselessness by the regime towards the civilians in Longairo is not only an act of crime and cowardice, but also a provocation to the SPLA-IO forces within the vicinity of the area to respond aggressively and be blamed for it,” he added.

Lam, however, urged the ceasefire monitoring body to investigate the crisis in Longairo between civilians and the government forces.

(ST)