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16 arrested and Hundreds displaced by soldiers in Gondokoro

By Adia Jildo

Soldiers have displaced the communities of Gondokoro during a security operation.

The three days operation left communities terrorized, property taken, brutal beating and arrest of children and chiefs.

The armed soldiers reportedly took hostage of 2 children and 16 elders and youths.

The head chief of Gondokoro Ramadan Juma Wani during a briefing on the situation to the media said, the deployed forces have gone beyond their mandates forcing many out of the village.

“This is beyond disarmament. The village is now empty. “I slept in the bush and came back at home this morning.”

Women representative Kandida Juan expressed her disappointment about the soldiers citing the brutal act of rape cases.

She said there is need for the government to take responsibility and put forward the soldiers to face the law citing the grave violation.

 “We are sad and that’s the reason we came out today. What do these people want from us? Are they hungry or they wanted money or something else. Where are you taking these elderly people? Women are cooking and they are being abused, you want to resist, they will want to kill you,” she questions.

 Juan called on the government to help them so that their children are released.

“We want those children who were taken by those soldiers to be brought back, we are tired because yesterday was not an easy day.” She said.

Youth representative Nelson Swaka stated that the intentions of the soldiers have remained unknown despite claims of disarmament.

He added that the act of the soldiers are arbitrary as per their mandate had stated.

“They arrested people, we do not know the reason, we were taken and they started beating us stating that they are looking for guns. When we told them we are civilians and do not have guns, they took our animals, beat our chiefs and took them alone, we were told we can bail out ourselves and the chiefs with cattle or money. We have been waiting and up to now they have not been brought despite us giving them money. We the youth do not know which kind of disarmament it is,” he said

The commissioner of Juba County Charles Joseph Wani condemned the act by the soldiers citing that it is wrong and unlawful.

He urged the commander in charge to do an investigation in the case and the immediate release of those who have been taken hostage by the soldiers in Gondokoro.

“I condemn the act in the strongest team possible because the person who had been assigned has failed the government. I am not happy about the act. I appeal to the commander who was directed to carryout a thorough investigation because the assignment was clear to bring guns but they took the laws into their hands by brutally beating, arresting and taking property of the civilian population. I appeal to all the top leadership and the rest, those who were arrested and held hostage should be brought back and they should be allowed to celebrate the festive season with their families,” he urged.

The 16 people were arrested including chief martin Ladu, John Ladu Andrea, Patrick Nyombe and Emmanuel Wani.

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