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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudan’s Interior Minister condemns killing of foreign nationals

By Julius N. Uma

September 4, 2010 (JUBA) — The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) has strongly condemned a shooting that killed two foreign nationals living in the semi-autonomous regions capital Juba last week.

Maj. Gen. Gier Chuang Aluong, Government of South Sudan Internal Affairs Minister
Maj. Gen. Gier Chuang Aluong, Government of South Sudan Internal Affairs Minister
Gier Chuang Aluong, the Internal Affairs Minister told journalists on Monday in an impromptu press conference that the killings had been directed by south Sudan’s “enemies”.

Five people including two Ugandans were killed and 6 others seriously injured, after an unknown gunman opened fire at Customs market, located about 7 km west of South Sudan’s provincial capital, Juba on Friday 1 October.

Gier, who was flanked by the Telecommunications and Postal Services counterpart, Madut Biar, denied accusations that the killer belonged to the southern army – the SPLA – insisting that the incident should be blamed on those he described as “enemies” of peace in the region.

The south is due to vote on whether it wants to become a new country or remain united with the north in January 2011 as part of a peace deal.

“We are reliably informed that there are people who are planning to disrupt forthcoming referendum through such killing of innocent people. The Government of Southern Sudan strongly condemns these acts of violence,” the Interior Minister said.

Investigations into the killings are ongoing and that the culprit will face the justice and the rule of law, if found guilty the minister said. He could not elaborate further on the identity of the killer.

The GoSS President, Salva Kiir Mayardit also expressed condolences to the families, friends and relatives of the bereaved, according to a carefully-worded message delivered by the Interior Minister on Monday.

Asked to comment on the incident, Habib Migadde, the Head of Chancery at the Juba-based Uganda Consulate told Sudan Tribune yesterday that the shooting was carried out by an “errant person”.

Migadde, who is due to meet the Internal Affairs Minister on Tuesday urged the Ugandan community to remain calm as investigation takes its course. He appealed to the government of South Sudan to speed up the process and ensure the killer is apprehended.

Sudan Tribune has learnt that a peaceful demonstration, which had been planned by the business community in Juba was abandoned as after it coincided with the return of President Kirr from Nairobi. Other protest marches were also due to take place in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

An estimated 3,000-4,000 Ugandans are currently said to be living and probably working in South Sudan, according to the Internal Affairs Ministry.