Aweil beefs up security as gang groups mobilize ahead of festive season

Security is being beefed up in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state capital, Aweil following reports of gang groups mobilizing ahead of the festive season.

According to a state official, terrified residents of the town have reported suspicious activities of a group of youth known as “Niggers” in the residential areas.

In South Sudan, the term is used to refer to young people who have adapted a certain lifestyle and behaviour seen as a threat, including criminal acts.

The activities of the group have been associated with night robberies, violent attacks on people. The gangs reportedly carry crude weapons such as machete [panga], knives and clubs to cause harm on their victims.

“These criminals kill sometimes when they are not careful unless the government intervene and see how they can help us deal with these young criminals,” a resident told Akol Yam FM.

Some residents alleged that the gang groups are recruiting new members in the community – a sign that criminalities will increase during the festive season when most families would be shopping for Christmas.

William Anyuon, State Minister of Information said security forces have been deployed in various residential areas to protect lives and properties of Aweil residents.

He said more police officers are being deployed in the neighboring Counties.

“The issue of Niggers has become a threat to the residents but the police with the State government are working hard to deploy more forces in the zones created in the residential areas,” he confirmed.

Mr. Anyuon appealed to parents and the community to take charge of their children. He called on them to advise and caution the young people against engaging in crime.

He stressed on the need for improved collaborations between the police and the civilians to address any crime-related matter.