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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs