Child killed in Rumbek anti-demotion protests

A a protest against forceful demolition of structures on public land in Rumbek has left a little boy dead and two men with severe injuries, police in Lakes State have confirmed.

The exercise, which commenced in the state capital last week, turned violent at Akuach on Tuesday morning when some residents tried to resist it.

“Some residents tried to resist the demolition by throwing sticks and stones at security forces. Some went ahead to try to grab guns from the security forces, forcing them to shoot into the air to scare them away,” said William Koje, minister for information.

Lt. Col Moses Machuoc, acting police spokesperson in the state, said this resulted in the shooting dead of the unnamed 10-year-old boy and injuring of the two men.

“Two people were injured and a ten-year-old boy was killed during the shooting when residents resisted the demolition [on] government land this Tuesday,” he told Mingkaman FM.

A picture of the violent protests circulating on the social media suggests that one of the young men was shot in the mouth.

However, Koje claimed that the victims were not shot by security agents during the demonstrations.

“Nobody was injured by the security. Those who say they have killed a person are lying to the police,” he said.

So far, at least 20 people have being held by the state authorities over the violent protests.

Minister Koje says the residents were informed in 2021 when their area was marked for demolition but failed to vacate it.

The media outlet could not immediately and independently verify the facts and circumstances surrounding the demolition.