A gunman went on a rampage in the capital of Western Equatoria State yesterday killing two people and causing panic in Yambio town.
A witness who went to the scene of the shootings afterwards said that he saw two dead bodies and police.
“Two guys were shot this afternoon,” said the Yambio resident, adding that one victim was a boda-boda from Maridi and another from Yambio.
He explained that the sound of gunshots caused many people to run from the town while shops were closed.
By late afternoon, however, people were starting to return home and the situation calmed down.
Western Equatoria Minister of Information Charles Kisanga told Radio Tamazuj that the perpetrator was an SPLA soldier who went out from the SPLA base and shot dead the two civilians.
The minister explained that the shootings in Yambio today followed disturbances in a nearby village in recent days that led to the deaths of an unconfirmed number of soldiers.
Kisanga said that SPLA soldiers at Birisi village near the Congo border had recently arrested several youths and a chief, resulting in tensions that ultimately led to violence.
“Some of the youths there yesterday went out angry and they went and shot three of the soldiers there [in Bindisi]. So one of the soldiers [in Yambio] took his weapon and shot two people and killed them,” said Kisanga.
The minister suggested that the perpetrator of the shootings in Yambio may have been a relative of one of the victims of the violence in Bindisi.
It is not clear why the soldier opened fire on civilians in Yambio. Kisanga referred to the shooter as a “criminal,” noting that he is now under arrest.
“That is what happened and the commander of the army and the governor and others had a meeting to assess the situation,” Kisanga said.
According to the information minister, there are about 50 army soldiers based in the Bindisi the area.
Previously relations with the locals were good, he said, but more recently there were problems.