15 soldiers convicted for murder, rape in S Sudan

A cross-section of the SSPDF soldiers convicted for various crimes in Yei. (Photo: Radio Tamazuj)

The General Military Court Martial sitting in Yei, Central Equatoria State, on Monday convicted 15 South Sudanese People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) soldiers for murder, rape, and causing serious bodily injury.

The military court’s session in Yei ran from 2 to 27 June presided over by Maj. Gen Michael Koung.

The court found 8 soldiers guilty of murder and sentenced them to between 5 and 7 years in prison, and a fine of 51 head of cattle as blood compensation each or the equivalent in South Sudanese Pounds (SSP). 4 other soldiers found guilty of rape are to serve a jail term of 5 years each and were ordered to monetarily compensate their victims. 

A soldier who was convicted for causing bodily harm to a 9-year-old boy was sentenced to serve a 3-year jail term and pay for the treatment of his victim. 2 other soldiers were ordered to pay monetary compensation to their victims for also causing bodily harm. Col. Michael Machar, SSPDF’s civil-military relations director in Yei, the military court will continue to work in Yei to instill discipline among those in combat.

Meanwhile, the commissioner of Yei River County, Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa, said the local authorities are going to request for another session of the General Military Court Martial to sit in Yei to try high-ranking SSPDF officers.

Meanwhile, Mama Hawa Adam, the chairperson of the women association in Yei River County, appealed to the government to think about the welfare of the soldiers and regularly transfer them to minimize such crimes.

An estimated 2000 residents of Yei attended the final verdicts of the military court at the SSPDF barracks in Yei town.

All the convicted soldiers were stripped of their ranks, dismissed from SSPDF, and are to serve their sentences in the civil prison.

Most of the murder cases committed by the SSPDF soldiers happened in the areas of Lasu and Ombaci in Yei River County.

Source: Radio Tamazuj.

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