News / Africa

    South Sudan Official: Police Have Orders to Shoot Curfew Violators

    An SPLA soldier on patrol in Juba. South Sudan Interior Minister Aleu Ayienyi Aleu has ordered the security forces to shoot anyone who violates the curfew in the capital.
    An SPLA soldier on patrol in Juba. South Sudan Interior Minister Aleu Ayienyi Aleu has ordered the security forces to shoot anyone who violates the curfew in the capital.

    South Sudan Interior Minister Aleu Ayieny Aleu said Monday that anyone who violates the curfew in the capital is a criminal and security officers are under orders to shoot them dead. 

    "It is only witches who move at night," he said.

    "They steal and kill our people... Shoot them. We have to strike hard to stop this problem, so now, even civilians cannot move about at night," Aleu said.

    The council of ministers "passed a resolution at our last ... meeting that there should be no mercy for criminals. Shoot them," Aleu said.

    A curfew was imposed in Juba when fighting broke out in December. It currently runs from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., but there are reports that the authorites plan to move the start time up to 8 p.m. No one was available at the Interior Ministry to confirm or deny those reports.

    Rights activists up in arms

    Abila Tom Reuben, the human rights coordinator at the Voice for Change NGO said the minister's order violates people's rights - and is unlikely to work.

    “With the situation the way it is currently, people in South Sudan do not get scared of death anymore," he said.

    That means that a threat to shoot people who venture out at night will not achieve what it was intended to achieve - keep them indoors and bring down crime, Reuben said.

    Reuben said that instead of shooting suspected criminals, the government should take steps to improve conditions in South Sudan so that people don't feel they have to turn to crime. Some South Sudanese have turned to theft and robbery to survive because their salaries have not been paid for months or essential services are not being provided, Reuben said.

    Edmund Yakani of the Community for Empowerment for Progress also said that if the aim is to cut crime, a shoot-to-kill policy is not the way to achieve it.

    “Shooting one criminal is not the solution," he said, adding that it would be better to arrest a suspect so that  "through him, you can track down the other criminals."

    Reuben and Yakani said they think the new policy is a tactic to divert attention away from the real reasons people are committing crimes, namely desperation, poverty and insecurity. All have been made worse by nearly seven months of conflict in South Sudan.

    The threatened deadly crackdown on curfew violators comes at a particularly bad time for soccer fans in Juba, many of whom will be unable to watch the  final games of the World Cup in Brazil because they kick off or finish after the curfew begins.

    Up to now, many South Sudanese have been defying the curfew to watch the World Cup, and have said that security forces turn a blind eye if curfew violators tell them they are on their way home after a match. But that could change with the new order to shoot-to-kill.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: lomoro from: usa
    July 09, 2014 1:34 AM
    Save haven for the jenges is in the hands of equatorians. I wonder what are they waiting for?.

    by: Angelo from: Ethiopia
    July 09, 2014 1:08 AM
    In my point of view resting the crimes and take them to court is better than killing the without investigation this in ganeral is not compulsory by the way

    by: Abusala from: Malualkon
    July 08, 2014 11:46 AM
    This rumuor are circulate by the enemy of peace in south sudan they want our people to hate them and boycott our 3rd anniversary which is tomorrow

    by: Lomugit John Longohe from: Torit
    July 08, 2014 8:24 AM
    the minister is against one region that use the roads and town at any time,mr kiir and his govt want to distablise the living of the country
    In Response

    by: James from: Juba
    July 08, 2014 10:37 AM
    VOA should beware of rebel propagandists who hate the government in Juba. They (rebels) are deploying all kind of propaganda to scare off investors from Juba as grim picture of its authorities are painted. People out there must appreciate that having a government in South Sudan to enforce law and order is good.There is no curfew as such although security has been tightened around July 9, 2014, as we commemorate our independence tomorrow. I am currently in Juba and had never been threatened by Juba security personnel. Like Ayom puts it, there are arms in wrong hands and security personnel always serve under risky conditions. Being a police in Juba is like being a police in New York city. People who follow the law have no problem.

    by: faza Gabriel from: unnoon location
    July 08, 2014 3:27 AM
    poor regime in juba
    Government killing innoncen people
    shamefull regime

    by: Sirocco Mayom Biar Atem from: South East Asia
    July 08, 2014 3:21 AM
    What the minister says and the orders passed by the council of ministers is totally unaccepted why because since before the war started many people where killed in the night and proprieties were robbed and no action taken by the government, in case if the government want to stop crimes, then its just to deployed good number of polices or army whatsoever they want to caught those who violated the curfew. i can say the Minister should reverse the decision.

    by: pierre from: Strasbourg , France
    July 08, 2014 3:19 AM
    The Hon Minister is a lunatic . He was shot twice in the war between North and South Sudan by his own people. He knows what it is like to be shot but is too dumb and stupid to know what his harsh rules mean to the common man in Juba

    by: Lixious from: Nairobi
    July 08, 2014 3:14 AM
    Big up to Reuben and Yakani. Well said

    by: ayuen mach wel from: bortown
    July 07, 2014 11:51 PM
    It is good to imposed curfew because some people need to cause fighting in hubs especially equatorian.

    by: riya from: juba
    July 07, 2014 10:21 PM
    This is totally not right...killing is not the solution, besides not everyone who moves at night is.a criminal
    We as South sudanese are tired of all these injustices n we longing for peace n freedom
    We were born in killings n still in blood shed
    We hoped that after the referendum the situation would be better that we would live a happy after but it seems our cries are in vain
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.