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President Kiir directs security agencies to investigate Kajo-Keji incident

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has urgently directed the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the recent killing of 27 civilians in Kajo-Keji County of Central Equatoria state.

“These investigations must not amount to nothing, they must aim at holding the instigators and perpetrators of these heinous crimes accountable for their actions,” Kiir said in a statement issued in Juba on Tuesday.

The President said he was deeply saddened by the incident which took place on 2nd February in Likamerok Village of Kajo Keji County on the eve of Pope Francis visit alongside the leaders of the Anglican church of England and the Presbyterian church of Scotland to the country.    

“This loss of lives occurred at a time when our country needed peace the most. It came at time when the entire world was watching our preparations of welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis, and the other two prominent Christian leaders for a historic ecumenical pilgrimage of peace to our country,” it noted.

Kiir said that there are no justifiable explanations for this uncalled violence at the time when the leaders of the two communities have initiated processes of returning cattle to their areas of origin.

The presidential orders issued in 2015 and 2017 ordered cattle keepers to vacate Greater Equatoria region to their homes of origin, but this was not heeded to date.

“It is on this basis that I strongly condemn the actions of the perpetrators of these crimes, and to the grieving communities, I convey my heartfelt condolences to you, and urge you not to allow the appeal of revenge for your losses to drive you to commit further acts of violence,” Kiir said.

He said that he is fully aware of how hard it is to cope with tragedies of this nature, imploring the affected communities to leave matters in the hands of authorities.

Kiir said authorities will be charged with looking into the root causes of the violence, as well as using the full force of the law to hold the culprits accountable.

He called upon all South Sudanese to extend their prayers to the affected communities.

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