By Deng Ghai Deng
Three people have been admitted to Bor State Hospital following clashes where bodyguards of the Jonglei State Governor allegedly beat up and opened fire on civil servants protesting pay cut on Wednesday, doctors have said.
At least nine protestors were initially injured when clashes broke out between the bodyguards of Governor Denay Jock Chagorand civil servants as the anger invaded and shut down the state secretariat to protest the diversion of part of their salary to address security-related challenges by the state governor.
Doctor Yak Wal who is in charge of the Surgical Ward at the state hospital told Juba Monitor yesterday that two men; one with wounds to the back of his head and another with injuries to his head, were admitted under critical conditions while a third victim, a woman suffered a broken arm.
“One person was beaten in the head with a stick; another one was injured in the arm, she is a woman and the other one was hit with the backside of a gun on the chest. The wounds are critical especially for the one who was injured on the chest, but we are trying our best to manage them,” Dr Wal narrated yesterday.
The protests were sparked by an order directing the state minister of finance to deduct allowances from the salaries of state civil servants to facilitate forces providing security in the state signed by MrChagor.
The move was bitterly rejected by the civil servants including teachers who have laid down tools.
In a phone interview with Juba Monitor, Jonglei Deputy Governor, Antipas Nyok de Kucha said the state cabinet was going to meet to resolve the pay cut crisis.
Jonglei State Information Minister, Veronica William admitted that guards at the state secretariat shot “in self-defense” and “because the protestors were aggressive” during the demonstrations on Wednesday.
This was the second time the Jonglei civil servants demonstrated over salaries.
In December, a committee tasked by President Salva Kiir to investigate the root causes of the civil servants’ protests in the state capital, Bor ordered the state government to pay public servants according to the new salary structure.
The intervention came after days of protests and stalled operations at the secretariat and Bor Airport.