South Sudan: Kiir Orders Probe into Mayom Extrajudicial Killings

President Salva Kiir on Thursday night formed a special committee to investigate the insecurity situation, including extrajudicial killings in Mayom County, Unity State.

Four officers from the rebel South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPM/A) led by General Stephen Buay, were summarily executed by government soldiers in Mayom County, Unity State.

The executions, which took place on 7 August, were allegedly in response to an attack by the SSPM/A on Mayom County.

On 22 July, SSPM/A forces attacked and killed Mayom county commissioner James Chuol Gatluak, the brother to President Kiir’s National Security Advisor, Tut Gatluak Manime.

Through a presidential order read on state-run television, President Kiir said the investigation committee is formed based on a recommendation by the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), General Santino Deng Wol.

The committee members to be headed by Senior Legal Counsel Sarafino Simon Mizan are Major General Henry Lam Juach, Major General Abun Stephen Thiongkol, Judge Advocate Aguer Chol Aguer and Major Sebit Mahmud.

The committee is tasked to “investigate the cause of insecurity, including reported cases of extrajudicial killings and destruction of property that occurred in Mayom County.”

Within the terms of reference, the investigation committee will interrogate and summon suspects implicated in the incidents, including those in custody. The committee is also directed to coopt any relevant members where it deems necessary.

The new investigation committee is expected to report back to Kiir within 15 working days from 8 September.

South Sudan’s Investigation Committees Act of 2006 permits the president to establish committees empowered to conduct hearings, issue summons, collect documents and issue warrants of arrest for people refusing to appear before the committee without a valid reason.

Koch Madut