One dead, and 5 arrested in joint operation to crack down highway robberies

Eastern Equatoria state authority says the security forces have shot dead one person and arrested five suspects in connection to road ambushes and robberies along Narus and Kapoeta – Torit highway. Official says the criminal gang exchanged gunfire with operation team that led to the death of one person who was shot and killed and another injured.


The town Mayor of Kapoeta municipality Elia Lokuuda Lonyia says the suspects were arrested last week in a joint operation by the police and the national security to crackdown criminals along major highways in the state.


He says the operation team also confiscated a gun and phone from one of the suspected robbers. “This exercise has been ongoing and was authorized by the leadership of Eastern Equatoria state under the theme secure the highway and make it safer”, said Lokuuda.


He told Singaita 88.3 FM that the government has deployed security forces to patrol along Kapoeta Narus and Kapoeta Torit highway. Lokuuda says the forces will be help curve insecurity cause by criminals that target road travelers and robs them with their belonging.


He says the forces are under strict instructions to ensure that the road users using the highways from Kapoeta to Torit, Kapoeta to Narus have a safer environment.

Lokuuda says the operation team has registered some success by managing to arrest some key suspects and the exercise to make sure the highways are safe for the travelers in the state.


“Since the onset of this operation, they have arrested number of notorious criminals and the leader of this criminal gangs fell into the hands of this forces and he was shot and we believed he died because all of his belonging has been recovered, a gun, his mobile phone and other belonging, so he is our great hope.”


He appreciates the leadership of Maj. General Adil Juma the police commissioner in Kapoeta and the joint operation forces for what he describes as “a well-done job”.  He urges the local communities to cooporate with the government in identifying suspects and reported them to the police.


The commissioner of police in Kapoeta Maj. General Adil Juma says they are committed to ensure all criminals are brought to book and make highways and residential areas safer again.


Earlier this week the area paramount chief in Katiko payam Joseph Lokitela told Singaita FM that 19 people in his area were arrested by the government operation forces and several houses were burnt leaving people in the open.


He says those arrested were not the suspect but collected from their places of duty and demanded their release, at least 17 of them were later released without charge.


Several incidents of highway robberies has been a major challenge from the beginning of this year carried by unknown gunmen.