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South Sudan’s SPLA holds officers from mutinous unit

Dec 20, 2006 (JUBA) — The south Sudanese army has detained six officers from a unit that went on a mutinous rampage through the southern capital Juba last week, an SPLA spokesman said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Major General Kuol Diem Kuol told Reuters in an e-mail that the six officers, along with 23 non-commissioned officers, were being taken for questioning to garrisons in the southern town of Yei, 130 km (80 miles) to the southwest.

Two people were killed during Friday’s violence by 150 SPLA soldiers, one accidentally shot as the soldiers fired in the air and the other in a car accident during the panic.

The soldiers, part of joint SPLA-Sudanese army units, were protesting at not being paid between March and December 2005. The SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) was the southern rebel army during the civil war which came to an end last year.

On Saturday Salva Kiir, the president of the south Sudanese government, promised to follow up on the soldier’s demand for arrears, which amount to about 18.4 million dinars ($88,000).

Under the terms of the peace agreement signed by the central government and the rebels, the responsibility for paying the joint units lies with the presidency of Sudan.

(Reuters)

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