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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    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 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 US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    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 Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    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.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.