[Rumbek, South Sudan] More than 500 young men remain stranded in Rumbek Prison in Lakes State due to lack of judges to try their cases. Majority of the suspects are linked to the crimes ranging from cattle raids to road ambushes and revenge killings.
Speaking to TCT, the State security advisor, Mr. Marial Amuom Malek, confirmed that the youths are stranded in Rumbek prison without hearing. Mr. Malek explained that Rumbek Prison is full with more than 500 youths who were arrested on multiple charges. He said that about 30 of these suspects were tried and sentenced to the death penalty, some have been investigated but awaiting trial, and some have never been tried or investigated at all.
He also added that lack of judges and implementation of trails made judiciary work difficult in the state.
On the security situation in Lakes state, Malek said the government has stepped up a campaign to control the rampant revenge killings in some parts of the state. He stated that authorities have been testing new calling messages to the people to end the massive killing and communal conflict.
“The commitment of the state government is to tell our people that no more deaths to our citizens at this time of peace, so we went to cattle camps, villages, talking to group of youths, talking to the chiefs, talking to women, talking to everybody giving them this message that we don’t want more deaths. Our priority now is to completely stop the issue of revenge killing.”
Malek told TCT that South Sudan needs peace than food or anything else.
“God has given us this wonderful nation of South Sudan, that we are supposed to live in peacefully and happily, but we have turned it upside down, who God can ask? It is us the leaders, the people of South Sudan,” he emphasized.
The revenge killing cycle in Lakes State has caused many people, including young people, the educated and some community leaders, to leave the state and take refuge in other parts of South Sudan. Churches conducted peace prayers earlier this year but still conflict continues.
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