October 10, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Ministry of Interior has urged the general public in the nation’s capital, Juba, to declare their weapons and register them with the police headquarters with immediate effect, saying the level of gun possessionwas posing a security threat.
The Deputy Minister of Interior, Salva Mathok Gengdit, announced the order on Tuesday on South Sudan TV, explaining that the order includes constitutional post holders.
He said the weapons should be registered in the criminal investigation department (CID), warning that anybody who will not respect the order will face the law if found with an unregistered weapon.
Thousands of rifles are believed to be in the hands of civilians in the capital while many attempts to disarm the civilian population has failed in the past.
The latest order came in the wake of a widespread rumour on Monday evening that some armed groups were in the city attempting to cause instability, which prompted the army to impose a curfew and patrol the city throughout the night.
Mathok accused individuals owning illegal guns of being involving in the “killing of innocent people and looting their property, threatening the security of citizens.”
Police in the past captured some criminals who were responsible for selling weapons and ammunition in the town.
A group of criminals from Juba who were suspected of having links with criminals elsewhere attempted to smuggle weapons into Jonglei State last month but were intercepted, leading to arrest of some of them after exchanging fire with police forces on the Juba-Bor road.