AUTHOR: Elizabeth Lochapio | PUBLISHED: July 12, 2023
Gold miners at a site in Kapoeta | Credit | Courtesy
Three gold miners are reportedly gun down on Monday afternoon in Kapoeta South gold mining site, Eastern Equatoria State.
The acting commissioner of Kapoeta South County, Juma Justine said two brothers and one friend were killed in Loturtur by unknown group of youth suspected to be from Buya – an allegation which could not be verified from Budi County.
“There were some people who have been mining gold at a place call Loturtur and the youth from Buya came and got these people bathing and preparing to go back to the village after other miners had gone and they (killers) started firing at the four people who were bathing and killed three on spot and one survive the attack,” Justine said. “The killers run away after shooting these innocent and poor people who did not have any gun.”
According to the commissioner, the suspected killers are believed to be the aggravated cattle raiders who were intercepted while attempting to raid in Kapoeta South on the eve of independence but confronted and send back by the youth.
“There were people who came and attempted to raid the cattle on the 9th July and they were intercepted by the youth at the kraal and I don’t understand what made them to go and kill the innocent people at the market in the mining site that have no connection with cattle,” Justine stated.
Singaita FM could not succeed in getting commend from Budi County Authority on the allegation that the suspected killers are from Buya.
However, Kapoeta South County insisted that the Budi County Authority follow up the incident and avail the perpetrators for justice for their action. The deceased are identified as Lotor Lomukunyo, Lopidinga Lomukunyo and Lotyiam Namuria.
Gold mining is one of the common economic activity being carried out by the local communities in Kapoeta. However, the mining site has claimed many lives in different ways ranging from from hole collapsing to insecurity at the site.
Report by the Enough project in 2020, indicates that the gold mining in the Kapoeta area has been criminalized. It noted that despite its legal framework, South Sudan’s gold sector remains ungoverned and poorly regulated.