Delegates demand relocation of barracks away from civilian areas
By Kitab A Unango
Delegates at the Equatoria Regional Conference have recommended the relocation of all army barracks and camps away from civilian residential areas.
This demand was made yesterday during the deliberation on the security matters. The discussion was meant to resolve some issues that perpetuated insecurity in the country.
In the deliberations they said most of the army barracks and camps were close to or situated within areas of civil population.
They said this was to blame for rampant displacement, raping and deaths of innocent people during armed confrontations over the past three years.
The delegates said indiscipline among individuals of the armies within those camps has impeded returnees to settle.
Speaking during the discussions, Joyce Kwaje said Lobonok County of Jubek State has suffered from army camp proximity.
“There is persistent insecurity in rural and urban areas in South Sudan especially in Juba State, Lobonok County. People have totally been displaced, others are in IDP camps and there have been raping and killings,” Joyce said.
Ngbandua Mathew Mukasa said some members of the forces terrorize civilians by accusing them of supporting rebels.
“Location of army camps near civilians is not okay. Sometimes civilians suffer a lot because government forces accuse them of supporting rebels and when rebels come they say we are supporting government forces. When they (army) are drunk, they terrorize civilians. We need army barracks to be relocated far away from civilians,” Mathew explained.
Other recommendations included urgent reformation in all armed and organized forces in line with the provision of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.
They said the army should not engage in politics, government and armed opposition groups should respect secession of hostility agreement to enable civilians return to their homes.