Home | News    Saturday 28 August 2010

Senior SPLA officer and 11 civilians killed in separate murders in Yei

August 27, 2010 (JUBA) – A colonel in the southern army – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) - and eleven civilians were killed on Thursday in Yei town of Central Equatoria state in two separate incidents involving soldiers.

Military sources say Colonel Peter Gatkuoth Chol was shot dead by one of his soldiers, Lieutenant-Corporal Majur Philip Mathier, who was alleged to have been drug addict and who drank heavily.

Majur was previously disciplined for his behavior of frequently smoking cannabis, known locally as ‘bongo’. He was put to jail until recently when he was released. While attempts to reach the SPLA spokesman for clarifications failed, the anonymous military sources say after the soldier’s release he got hold of a gun and went to where the Colonel stayed during which he shot him at a close range while the Colonel was sitting and charting with some of his other colleagues. The assailant managed to escape from the scene.

Late Colonel Peter Gatkuoth was the army’s officer in charge of the SPLA Engineering Corps in Yei town.

In a separate incident later on Friday, , a soldier alleged to have been one of the GOSS presidential guards based in Yei town shot dead eleven people mostly women and children from the family of his former in-laws. The soldier who is only revealed to Sudan Tribune by his first name as Makuor massacred members of the family of the girl he was about to marry.

The sources alleged that Makuor was in serious argument with the family of the girl from the Kakwa community after he tried to renege on the agreement he had earlier reached with the girl’s parents that the girl would first complete the current academic year before could marry her.

After learning that his request to prematurely take the girl was turned down, he allegedly decided to later attack the family through the help of some of his friends who first tied their hands and then shot them.

Following the massacre of the civilians, the commander in charge of the SPLA forces in Yei County, Brigadier General Thok Chuol Luak, had reportedly appealed to the civil population in the town to remain calm and allow the authorities to investigate the matter and take necessary action.

A team of senior military officers including Lt. General Wilson Deng from the SPLA General Headquarters and the Commander of the Military Police in Southern Sudan, Brigadier General Stephen Buay Rolnyang, had been dispatched to Yei from Juba on Friday to calm the situation and bring the culprits to book.

The murderer of the 11 family members is reported to have been arrested while the culprit responsible for the death of the Colonel is said to have escaped and is being pursued by the law enforcement agencies.

Two years ago a senior army officer was murdered by another soldier at the SPLA General Headquarters in Juba during a dispute over ownership of piece of land.