Updated at 11:59Am, Oct 1, 2014(PST)
Sept 30, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — According to Luk David, a junior army officer, who has served in Yei for the last one year, the fighting which broke out this morning was sparked by a deployment issue although it coincides with the end of the month.
Luk believes that Maj. Akech Majak, who has headed the army’s Wounded Heroes programme, a special wing of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) since 2005 in Yei refused an assignment to his home town of Aweil.
The source reiterates that Lt. Col. Isaac Lual, who is also from Aweil, was assigned to replace Maj. Akech, however, Akech refused to hand over the leadership to Col. Lual.
Akech remained in town and expected his salary to be brought to Yei as usual, which to Col. Lual did not happen. On hearing that he should follow up with the main office in Juba, Akech was not convinced, which instigated the shooting.
According to Luk, Maj. Akech was shot this morning in the thigh and Col. Lual sustained two wounds. Earlier reports indicate that the two officers are receiving treatment in Yei, however, Luk confirmed that Lual has been transferred to Juba with other wounded veterans while Akech is seeking treatment in Yei.
The source reports that four soldiers are confirmed dead and about 15 others sustaining wounds. Luk believes that majority of the victims are sons of Aweil, mostly the body guards of the two officers.
Since the army and police departments were not directly involved in the fighting, general security remained calm as he speaks to Nyamilepedia’s editorial team from Yei.
The DDR programme was initiated during the CPA, and signed on 31st December, 2004 through the CPA’s Permanent Ceasefire and Security Arrangements, however, it slowly commenced its operations in 2009.
At its earnest, only members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) were eligible for DDR. Other militias and rebels groups had to be integrated into SPLA and SAF to benefit from the war heroes programme. Overall, over 90, 000 participants from the South were expected to benefit from the initiative.
Due to logistical problems and wrangling over its leadership, the ambiguous programme did not start any training as expected until its first phase was launched in Mapel in April 2013. The programme was expected to be started with the first 500 participants from Bahr el Ghazal region.