SSLM commander killed in Yambio

Gbudwe State Information Minister says the deputy commander of South Sudan Liberation Movement has been killed after his guards clashed with government soldiers in Yambio town on Sunday.

Over the weekend, gunshots were heard in the town when the SPLA and a group of soldiers protecting Major General James Kabila clashed near the football stadium, resulting into his death.

Gibson Bullen confirmed to Eye Radio that Major General James Kabila was shot when an army was sent to interrogate him over the death of a man killed in the town last week.

Mr. Bullen said the SSLM commander was first summoned by the state governor over the matter, but he refused.

“He instead asked the Division 6 commander to go to him. When reaching his station, he (Kabila) had already mounted his force. When commander of the Division 6 was reaching to his base, he automatically opened fire on the force and then shooting began,” Wande said.

Three body guards of Mr. Kabila were killed in the shoot out.

The incident came a day after the state authorities said they completed training members of the SSLM to be re-integrated into the organized forces.

SSLM comprised mainly of former arrow boys who took up arms to fight the state government.

The Commissioner of Police in Gbudwe said that the training of the group which began last year has been completed.

Major General James Monday said the committee tasked with implementing the exercise has assessed the trainees and identified their capabilities, and submitted their report to the President for approval.

“What we expect is their graduation once the reports are blessed by the authorities. Some of these will go into the national army, some will go the national security, some will go to the South Sudan National Police Service, and others will go to prison service, the Wild life service and the fire brigade service,” Maj. Monday said.

Gbudwe state governor said despite the Sunday’s incident, the peace agreement signed between the state government and the arrow boys remains intact.

He described the incident as “isolated.”

“The peace deal with the IO and the government [including] SSLM is in place. My advice to  SSLM or IO is that let them remain where they are, nobody is coming to them with anything bad. This is an isolated matter,” Badagbu said.

Daniel Badagbu called for calm, and urged officers of the SSLM to restrain from engaging in any activity that may disturb the peace in the state.