Corruption is to blame for Shirkat fatal incident

By James Atem Kuir

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Justice Reuben Madol Arol who was the Chairperson of investigation Committee for Shirkat case said corruption and power abuse partly played a role in the incident that led to death of six people including an SSPDF Intelligence officer.

While addressing the press on the Shirikat incident report release on Thursday, Justice Arol asserted that the late SSPDF military Intelligence officer acted in “greed” and used his bodyguards contrary to ethics of the military.

He said the report clearly found out that the incident constitutes violation of Human Rights and other serious crimes such as abuse of power and negligence by concerned authorities to uphold law and order.

“You can find elements of crimes in it, heinous crimes of the highest degree; you can find elements of Human Rights abuse, like taking human life. You can find elements of absence of state authority. You can find elements of corruption if an officer in the military uses military personnel in order to achieve his personal agenda, that must have been driven by greed and greed is an element of corruption,” Justice Arol stressed.

“The other unfortunate thing was that, the incident depicted an organized officer in the military (armed) forces of South Sudan against a civilian and the officer had recruited soldiers within the ranks of the military to be his personal guards and was using them for his own personal errands and that resulted in the unfortunate situation of rifles, arms or guns being used to inflect damage against civilians,” Justice Arol revealed.

Arol admitted that neither the State nor the national government bothered to intervene though the case was conversant with both levels of the government for some time.

“The committee also found there was a clear absence of national, state or local authorities in control of the situation. As you know this situation was known for quite a long time, it was reported to authorities at the payam, county, state and national levels, even up to the army headquarters but no effective action was taken. Well, it resulted into that which had turned the whole situation into a political situation,” he said.

He also said some evidences indicated that some elements tried to politicize the incident by taking sides with keens.  He urged the public to refrain from interfering in issues that are criminal and let the law take the course.

“There was mentality to sympathize with your group member, the communal way of looking at things should be addressed through the use of the law”.

The committee suggested that the trial of the suspects involved be done at a civilian court to ensure transparency and fairness.

The report also found out that huge loss was incurred as a result of destruction of both public and private properties by the “rowdy mob”.

He strongly calls for enforcement of laws governing the acquisition and land ownership. 

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