Mario Dhieu Malek, Deputy Chairman of Aweil Youth Union in Juba (Photo: courtesy)

Aweil Youth Union calls for justice for slain seller

Aweil Youth Union in Juba is calling for justice for aa shooting incident which left street vendor dead and another injured by a policeman at Kuburi Habooba, a Juba suburb on Saturday.

A hawker identified as Chier Ajou Akot was shot by a police officer enforcing removal of traders selling commodities along  the bridge.

Mario Dhieu Malek, Deputy Chair of the Union said about 81 vendors who hail from Aweil, are doing their small-scale business at Kuburi Habooba market.

According to Malek, 67 roadside sellers have their goods confiscated by Luri Payam administration, and 14 others are left nursing wounds after they were allegedly assaulted by police on the day of the incident.

“I condemn the incident in the strongest term possible and call on state authority to bring the people responsible for the shooting to book,” Malek said.

“Our people are not criminals, they have come to look for a better life and don’t deserve shooting,” he lamented.

He also called on the leadership of the community in Juba as well as Northern Bahr el Ghazal State authority to intervene so that justice is served for the teenager who was killed.

“Those who lost items/goods; 67 of them noted, most of them now are left with no food since they survive on their daily businesses,” he added.

According to an eyewitness who wants to remain anonymous, the shooting started when a policeman attempted to arrest a hawker for nonpayment of taxes, the boy allegedly grabbed the policeman’s gun.

Police confirmed the incident however said the killing was not intentional.

The police say their colleague wanted to scare away the hawkers who had become unruly.

James Dak, Deputy police Spokesperson revealed that vendors turn deaf ears to directives from Payam Council which warned them from selling commodities along the road and bridges for safety reasons

Last month, the government appealed to street vendors using part of Kuburi Habuba road as a market and motorists to vacate the area ahead of the official opening of the bridge.

Most of the streets of Juba are packed with vendors mainly small businesses run by people making a living by selling groceries, juice, biscuits, shoes, and clothes among many other items.

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