A general court martial in Yei convicted fifteen soldiers for committing different atrocities to the civil population in Yei River County of Central Equatoria state during the 2016 crisis.
on Monday Eight out of the 15 military personnel were convicted of murder and sentenced to ten years in prison, four were penalized for alleged rape and two years in prison meanwhile the rest were sentenced for two years in prison for causing injuries and torture of civilians.
Speaking at the army barracks during the ruling, Brigadier Dominic Sabino Tobo Yei River County chief inspector of police describes the process as historic.
He trusts that the general court martial will enable citizens of Yei to believe and own their government and the army.
The official says the court ruling indicated practice of justice to the citizens who were victimized during the conflict in the area.
“This is a historic event because it will enable the civil population feel convinced that the government of South Sudan is in solidarity with its citizens.it will as well demonstrate practice of justice as the perpetrators will account for all the crimes they committed against the civil population which will lead to trust for the military by the civilians”, He emphasizes.
South Sudan peoples defense forces commander in Yei John Lual appreciated the CDF for approving the general court martial to try soldiers who acted against the law.
He believes that it is the mandate and responsibility of the army to protect life and properties of civil population.
Commander Lual pledges to bring the civilian closure to the military in order to build trust and harmonize their broken relationship.
“I want to thank the chief of defense forces for always supporting us approve the general military court-martial in Yei.as government, we want to bring our civilians close to us in order to improve our civil-military relationship. I also want to thank the chief of South Sudan defense forces for working hard for the court marshal to reach Yei,” Lual applauds.
Alex Kenyi is the head chief of Lasu Payam, he appreciates the government for accepting the court-martial in Yei to try perpetrators of crimes against the civilians in the area.
He revealed that since the court martial tried some military personnel, cases of rape, killing and looting reduced in the area.
The head chief appeal for continuous trial of military personnel who committed atrocities in order for the rest to refrain from such acts.
“Since the general court marshal was sent to Yei, cases of rape murder and looting of properties reduced. I call upon all of us to unite and work together and let trial of suspects accused of committing crimes against the civil population continue for peace to prevail in the region,” the head chief requests.
Meanwhile Yei River County commissioner Cyrus Kanyikwa reveals that the court martial is to prove governments competence, commitment and determination to end impunity.
He says the government fought against impunity, violation of laws and abuse of human rights.
The commissioner expressed his government’s commitment to end any kind of impunity against citizens.
“This general court marshal is to prove our competence, commitment and determination to end impunity. impunity, violation of laws is not what we want, and abuse of human rights is not what we fought. Discrimination is what we fought against and we have no right to promote it in Yei and South Sudan. We are committed as local government by the mandate given to us by the constitution as local government with all the institutions and the army which is given the responsibility of command in the areas where local governments are established, “commissioner Cyrus explained.
A general court martial was officially launched on 02.06.2022 to try soldiers who committed atrocities against the civil population during the 2016 conflict.
On 12th May 2022, the court martial compensated some victims of the 2016 crisis who had opened a case against soldiers who committed different atrocities to civilians in Yei.