Eastern Equatoria state government has denied reports of arbitrary arrests said to be ongoing in Ikwoto County.
There have been speculations on social media that authorities are arresting local youths – at random – following last month’s fighting between armed civilians and some soldiers.
On July 18, officials said two people died and another was wounded during the incident. Some grass-thatched houses were also burnt.
“There was a clash between youths and organized forces, and it started with a soldier being shot and later some youths stormed and killed some soldiers in a drinking place,” the state government said.
On July 13, unknown criminals torched three houses in Lorema village of Tanama Boma. Prior to that, the home of the Boma Chief was also burnt to the ground by unknown arsonists.
The state government deployed forces in the County to restore calm and also investigate the causes of insecurity.
Some netizens accused the local authorities of illegally rounding up people in Ikwoto town.
In response, Patrick Oting Cyprian, the State Minister of Information and Communication said those arrested are suspects.
“The organized forces or the police carrying out the arrests are not doing it randomly, they have information of who are behind the incident that took place in Ikwoto,” he said.
Mr. Oting added that those arrested will be subjected to all the legal procedures. Those found innocent, he said, will be released.
The Minister mentioned that the situation is calm in Ikwoto and schools have reopened.
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