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SSPDF soldiers arrested for theft of mattresses, solar panels

By Adia Jildo

Two soldiers have been apprehended for stealing mattresses and solar panels that were meant for their colleagues guarding the home of Rev. Hillary Mawa at Kajiko in Yei-River County.

Maj. Gen Lul Ruai Koang, spokesperson of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, said they are investigating another group of 10 soldiers before all are arraigned before the army court-martial.

Koang named the two suspects in detention as Sergeant Mariette Peter Kuot Mayat and Sergeant Gatkuoth Gadet Koang.

“A total of 160 SSPDF soldiers were moving but a squad of 12 men disappeared and they are the ones that got into this problem. Out of the 12, were have locked up 2 and we are doing further investigations,” he told Juba Echo in Juba on Monday.

“We are expecting to put more maybe around 10 plus 2 to make 12,” he added.

Koang said the soldiers were helped by three civilians to carry their loot.

“A search was conducted as a result the 4 mattresses were recovered and the 2 small panels, and they were returned to their rightful owner,” he said.

However, Koang denied the recently alleged torture and beating of Christians and clerics in the Episcopal Church on the 24th and 25th August in Yei.

“Nobody was beaten up, and nobody was arrested. That part of the report was false,” he said. 

Koang said the investigation committee will also reach to the clerics to seek their side of the story.

He promised the culprits will be held accountable if found to have engaged in torture of the clerics.

 “Our security personnel are not made up of angels; some of them are bound to make mistakes. The signal we are sending out is that once you violate our rules, and regulations, our mandate of protecting the people of South Sudan and their property, you will be locked in and dealt with,” Koang said.

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