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11,000 arms collected in Jonglei state

June 28, 2012 (JUBA) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) deputy head of logistics and commander of Jonglei disarmament, Kuol Deim Kuol, announced during an interview with Sudan Tribune that more 11,000 illegal firearms have been collected in Jonglei since the South Sudan president, Salva Kiir inaugurated it in February.

Kuol said that up to 90 percent of the civil firearms were transported to Juba, to be stored in SPLA general head quarters store. He also said “we managed to trace about 42 abducted people, even yesterday we managed to trace one abducted child in Lokelgele. He was sent to Pibor making the total to be 53; this is a big achievement”.

Jonglei has long been blighted by cattle rustling incidents and inter-ethnic conflict. The UN estimated between December 2011 and January 2012 12,000 people were displaced by conflict in the state.

He denied allegations that many soldiers involved in the programme have been involved in incidents of harassment, rape and other attacks on citizens, but confirmed the establishment of five military courts to try soldiers identified by citizens as perpetrators of the crimes.

“They are cultivating all over Jonglei” and “there is a peaceful atmosphere” in the state, according to Kuol.

The SPLA troops assigned to the disarmament programme will not leave the state until their mission is complete, according to Kuol.