November 18, 2013 (RUMBEK) – Fifteen women were on Monday arrested and five AK47 rifles recovered after an abrupt search operation by authorities in Rumbek for a banned local brew and illegal firearms, according to a police officer who spoke to Sudan Tribune on condition of anonymity.
‘‘In our search we found about ten jerrycans of local alcohol brew and five AK47 riffles,” said the police officer.
The officer said 15 women suspected to have brewed the banned beer were arrested by the authorities.
The police officer said the search order for the banned brew and illegal firearms had been issued by the Caretaker Governor of Lakes State, Maj Gen Matur Chut Dhuol.
However, Martha Ateriu, a member of parliament representing Rumbek North said the search operation had not been sanctioned by the state legislature.
“We have not authorized Lakes state executive organ to stop the community from brewing alcohol in Lakes. It is the right of everyone in Lakes to drink alcohol. This is not an Islamic state,” said Ateriu.
Adil Maker Manhom, another member of parliament representing Rumbek Central County said the search operation would deprive vulnerable women from a source of livelihood.
Many widows in Lakes earn a living by brewing alcohol. They use proceeds from alcohol to pay school fees for their children and meet their medical bills.
Martha Ateriu criticised the arrest of the women and said it was illegal.
‘‘We will not tolerate this policy to continue any more – it is now time state government to revoke all their cycle of unlawful act against the civilians otherwise we as lawmakers have united and impeachment or vote of no confidence will be imposed against any formal mistreatment of our citizens made by any government post holders.”