South Sudan: Gunmen kill newly appointed NCP chairperson in Yambio, Western Equatoria (Update 3)
NCP Chairperson Killed in Western Equatoria
(Juba) – The newly-appointed chairperson of the National Congress Party in Western Equatoria state has been killed by unknown gunmen.
N-C-P chairperson Mariam Biringi was shot dead on Friday at her house in Yambio.
Speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Juba, the NCP member and Minister of Health in the Government of Western Equatoria state, Paulino Zizi, confirmed the incident.
[Paulino Zizi]: “What happened was that unknown gunmen broke into the house of Miriam at midnight. And then they raided 3 or 4 apartments which are in her home. They started knocking on the doors one by one. The first door, an elderly man was in, he got out. He was told to lie down and then they knocked at the other door but no one opened the door. So, they shot at the door to open it. They wounded a boy and he was also told to lie down. When she [Mariam] heard the sound of the gunshot, she went outside. They told her that she should lie down. They first asked whether she was the owner of the house. She said yes. Then they told her to lie down and then they asked her for money which she told them she didn’t have. And then they dragged her to the road, shot her in the back and went away.”
Sudan Radio Service also spoke to the chairperson of NCP, Agnes Lukud, in Juba and she was unable to say whether the killing was politically motivated.
[Agnes Lukud]: “People have different opinions, some say that it is the SPLM but we have not got any accurate information. Because we think that we are partners and we are not sure exactly who has done this but the people of Western Equatoria of the National Congress Party are saying that they will not be able to guess who did it except if the boy will tell us from the way the people were talking, from the Arabic, they will know from their tribal background who the people are. But they thought that these people were soldiers of the government.”
The deputy chairperson of the United South Sudan Party, Brian Bandy, strongly condemned the murder.
[Brian Bandy]: “We are shocked about this incident, really totally shocked and it shouldn’t have happened. Whoever the perpetrators are, the so-called gunmen, what they have done is undemocratic, what they have done is very, very wrong. You don’t go around assassinating political rivals, what you do is put your case forward to the electorate and the people will choose which party they want to form a government to run the country but it is very, very wrong to assassinate this lady. Where were the police?
Mariam Biringi was appointed chairperson of National Congress party in the same week that she was assassinated.
Her burial will take place on Monday in Nyokuron cemetery in Juba.
Political assassination in Yambio - 1 day agoBy Justin Ambago Ramba August 15, 2009 — Yambio woke up on Saturday 15/08/2009 to the shocking news of the brutal death of Mrs. Mariam Biringi the ...Sudan Tribune - 3 related articles »
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Note David Blair's recent report (Monday, August 10, 2009) from Witto, Western Equatoria, southern Sudan: LRA targets children of Sudan
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Update on Friday, 21 August 2009:
Report by Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 20 August 2009:
Bati on Security in Yambio
(Yambio) – The Minister for Local Government in WES, Samuel Bati, says that Yambio is a very unsafe area due to frequent LRA attacks. He spoke to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday.- - -
[Samuel Bati]: “On the very night Biringi was killed, there were rumors that the LRA were coming towards Yambio, and most of the attention of the security forces were diverted towards that side. In fact it took people by surprise, but the security forces are doing their best to protect the people.”
Samuel Bati said that security is provided to senior officials in the state but not to everybody.
[Samuel Bati]:” We do not provide security to everybody but we do provide protection for all constitutional post holders, they have personal security guards from the police and other organized forces, but if requested, we are able to provide protection. And as you know, we can give security to everybody, even the population here and even the government officials. We have organized forces who conduct patrols within the town and we have forces deployed to defend the town from outside, we have those arrangements in place."
Bati said the deputy governor has formed a committee to investigate the killing of Mariam Biringi.
Report by Sudan Radio Service, Thursday, 20 August 2009:
Parties in W. Equatoria Fear for Their Security
(Yambio) – Political parties in Western Equatoria state are saying that their security is at risk following the killing of Miraim Biringi, the newly appointed NCP women's leader.- - -
The leader of the National Congress Party in Western Equatoria, Morris Taban, says SPLM leaders in the state are making hate speeches against his party during rallies.
[Morris Taban]: During official functions, leaders of the SPM criticize the NCP in front of the public. This automatically endangers the lives of NCP members anywhere in the state because people listen to the SPLM authorities. The security of members of the NCP in the state is not secured because SPLM leaders say that the NCP is supporting the LRA, or that NCP has got money to buy supporters. Because of these issues our security is at risk."
Morris Taban was speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Yambio.
From Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, 19 August 2009:
NCP Blames SPLA for Biringi Killing
(Juba) - The Sudan ruling National Congress party has called for a speedy investigation into the killing of a party official last week by unknown gunmen.
A senior member of the NCP, Mandour Al-Mahdi, accuses the SPLA of being responsible for the death of Mariam Biringi on 14 August.
Speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Juba, the NCP chairperson for the southern sector, Agnes Lukudu, claims that the SPLA was responsible for the crime committed last week.
[Agnes Lukudu]: “Western Equatoria has not yet told us who killed her, but according to the police who went to the scene, the finding at the scene is that the people who were moving there were wearing military boots. They were in a land-cruiser. Nobody would drive around in a land-cruiser at night except for an organized force. We are waiting for a signed statement from the government of Western Equatoria. We did not want to mention this, but the young boy [a witness] identified the people by tribe, but I don’t want to identify people by tribe because it is the young boy who said this. I identify people by tribe from the way they speak. I think this is very clear because the boy who is now in the hospital is telling us that he knew the tribe of this people from the Arabic they spoke.”
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement spokesman for the southern sector, Yien Mathew, said that people should not make assumptions until after the investigations have been carried out.
Mariam Biringi was killed in her house in Yambio in the same week she was appointed as NCP party leader in Western Equatoria state.