Civil Society denounces “shoot-to-kill” order in Central Equatoria State’s Lainya County

The South Sudan Civil Society Forum is saying they “discourage” a recent order by authorities in Lainya County of Central Equatoria State directing security organs to shoot to death foreign cattle herders who will resist arrest or fail to leave after seventy-two hours.

The cattle herders have been terrorizing communities in the area since late last year

Jame David Kolok, South Sudan’s civil society chair says the “shoot to kill” order which shall not follow the due law process if implemented constitutes extra judicial killing.

We welcome any initiative that will result to them vacating areas where they are not supposed to be. However, what we’ll not encourage is the question of extrajudicial killing. The perspective is that “if you are told to ‘shoot to kill’ that means you are killing somebody without a due process and that constitutes extrajudicial killing that will take whoever gave those orders to court,” Jame David said

He calls on the authorities in Lainya to embrace dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflict.

What we are encouraging is that there must be some very serious and consistent conversations and making sure that the cattle herders understand the consequences of violating the 72 hours ultimatum and that if they continue to resist, there should be other alternatives of moving them other than fighting them,” Jame David added

The shoot to kill order by County Commissioner Emmanuel Khamis Richard comes just days after three people were killed and four others wounded in a recent attack by cattle herders in areas of Lainya.

Earlier this year, a committee formed by the Central Equatoria State Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony spearheaded a dialogue that made the conflicting communities reach an agreement in which the herders were supposed to leave within seven days and to return looted herds of cattle. This was not honored.

While starting office earlier this year, Lainya County Commissioner Emmanuel Khamis Richard confirmed that cattle camps of Mundari and Dinka Bor were present in his areas pledging to ensure they vacate in a peaceful manner that doesn’t generate unnecessary tension, conflict or insecurity that will further displace and destroy lives and property of people.

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