POLICE-In hot pursuit of Juba-Yei road killer gang
By Odongo Odoyo/James Atem Kuir
The Police are on the hot pursuit of six members of a gang that have been killing, maiming and torturing people along the Juba-Yei road. One of the six members is said to have been exposed, leaving the five on the run.
The Police have equally put up a reward of two million South Sudanese Pound (SSP) to anyone who would help with information leading to the arrest of the gang members who are said to have been operating among others along Juba-Yei, Juba- Terekeka, Juba Kajo-Keji and Juba Mundri roads. They are said to be involved in demanding ransom, failure results in the victim(s) being killed.
A notice dated 1st of this month reads “this is to inform the general public that the police are looking for the following persons whose pictures appear below (see back page). With help for their arrest, the police are putting up two million South Sudanese Pounds for any person who will give information that will lead to their arrest.
“These groups have been involved in kidnapping people, torturing, maiming and killing if relatives failed to pay ransom. This trend happened along Juba-Yei, Juba-Terekeka, Juba-Kajo Keji and Juba-Mundri highway,”reads the notice.
There have been increased activities by bandits along Juba-Yei, Juba-Terekeka, and Juba-Mundri and Juba-Kajokeji roads in recent months. The operations are being coordinated by the Inspector General of Police (IGP)Gen. Majak Akec Malok who is said to have vowed to stamp-out crime in the country.
Just last week on Tuesday, gunmen abducted 9 people along the Juba-Terekeka highway and demanded about 5 million South Sudanese Pounds for the release of each of the victims.
The abductees were reportedly set free on Thursday after their families paid the demanded ransom according to Eye Radio story published online on Saturday.
Still last week, Ugandan news outlet the Daily Monitor reported on Saturday that four Kenyan long-distance truck drivers and two assistant drivers were kidnapped along the same road at around 9:00pm on Thursday.
The Daily Monitor added that the victims identified only as Mohammed, the driver of truck registration KBS 735W with his turn man Abdirizak; the driver of KBM 742R, Shueb who was driving truck registration SSD 512S and Abdillahi and his co-driver, aboard KBT 720J truck, were still missing.
The South Sudan National Police Services has not commented on the report yet.
The Juba-Yei Road
The Juba-Yei highway in March witnessed one of the deadliest attacks on public transport when unknown gunmen ambushed and killed at least 10 people travelling to Yei.
Four Ugandan drivers were killed in the attacks that took place on March 28 and 29, inGanji in Juba County and LimbeBoma of KenyiPayam, Lainya County.
On March 28th at least 10 people were killed in three separate attacks over two-day period in Ganji, along Juba-Yei.
Central State government blamed the attacks on National Salvation Movement but the group later reputed the claims.
19 April 2018.
ON April 19, 2018, three Ugandans and one South Sudanese were released four days after being kidnapped by armed bandits while travelling along Juba-Yei road.
The armed criminals had demanded 3 million SSP for each of the victims.
Security agents arrested one MaluitGatluak Tut believed to be linked to the kidnapping when he came to receive ransom according to the then army spokesperson, Major-General LulRuaiKoang.
Early last month,one person was killed and three others went missing after unknown bandits ambushed a UN truck on Mundri-Juba road.
The former deputy governor of the defunct Amadi State, ManaseDobui said the conductor of the truck was also seriously wounded in the incident.
Mundri County authorities identified the deceased as Mayaya Hassan, a 34-year-old driver from Burundi and the mechanic who injured is Mark Lotomi, a 38-year-old Kenyan.
On 11 March, gunmen shot and killed a road user, Evans BoyoiWani along Juba-Kajokeji road, while travelling in the company of his two brothers on motorbikes.