South Sudan army [SPLA] has been accused of orchestrating mass killings in Equatoria state following two years of civil war.
According to Radio Tamazuj, the killings within the government-controlled Yei town are perpetrated with knives, pangas and guns in residential areas Kanjaro, Lomuku, Gabat, Lupapa, Logobero, Lomuku and Midile village.
Rural areas around Yei, Lainya, Morobo, Mundri and elsewhere in the Equatoria region have become bases for insurgents and some residents say the wave of killings in Yei are retaliation against the civilian population for recent opposition attacks on government forces.
One of the survivors described to Radio Tamazuj how he survived a targeted night killing carried out by a mixed group of uniformed and non-uniformed men.
“We were asleep on Tuesday night, we heard some people knocking at the door but we resisted and they broke in and picked us forcefully including my brothers in their rooms. We were six in number; they took us away from our home and when we reached a distance, they tied our hands, started beating us with big sticks, they stopped us and raped my brother’s wife, killed her using a panga, they also started on my other brothers and killed them,” he said.
In the same week, bodies of people killed using pangas and gunshots could be seen lying at Yei Civil Hospital’s mortuary.
A resident in Mukaya Payam of Lainya County says that a similar wave of killings struck Mukaya village where more than ten civilians were brutally murdered using pangas.
Another area resident in Yei town says the continuous threats of killings, gunfire every night and hunger are major factors forcing residents to flee for refugee to Uganda.
The deputy spokesperson of the SPLA, Col. Santo Doming told Sudan Tribune the report was an attempt to tarnish the image of the army by “anti-peace elements within the community”.
He said the army command was unaware of such allegations against the military, but admitted the existence of hostile groups opposed to restoration of law and order in the area.
“For sure these are allegations do not carry any single truth. They are the work of anti-peace elements who are determined to concoct such divisive allegations to appeal an ethnic attention the activities of our gallant forces who are working hard to restore law and order in the country so that civilians to stay safe in their homes so as to resume their normal life,” said Doming.
Three elders were reportedly killed because of alleged allegiance of their sons to politicians allied to the armed opposition.