The armed youth in Rumbek town of Western Lakes state have clashed with the organized forces after a policeman shot dead one of the youth for allegedly failing to put down his gun.
According to a reliable source who requested for anonymity, the conflict started yesterday in the morning after one of the policemen deployed in an area called Acholthen, west of Rumbek town shot an armed youth dead.
“The armed youth was passing by the town and the policeman stopped him and demanded him to put down his gun,” he said. “After the armed youth refused to hand over his gun, the policeman shot him dead.”
The person added that the policeman went and took the gun away from the man after shooting him dead, “So the officer together with his colleagues who were guarding Rumbek town took off to the Police Headquarters,” he said.
The source stressed that the armed youth whose colleague was killed immediately retaliated and pursued the police up to their headquarters.
He said those killed include; a senior police officer working in finance and administration, an SPLA soldier and a national security officer, saying at least five people were confirmed dead in the clash.
He said the fighting which started in the morning at 8:30 am continued up to 5 pm as the sound of heavy guns were still being heard west of Rumbek during the time of the press
When contacted for comment, Western Lakes state Information Minister, Shadrack Bol Machok has confirmed the incident, but said he did not have any detail about the cause of the clash between the armed youth and the police forces. He said he was not in Rumbek at the moment.
However, the Deputy spokesperson of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army Col. Domic Santo denied the allegations that the army was involved in the clashes, “It was a clash between the armed youth and police forces but the soldiers are just trying to create a buffer zone between the two groups.”
He said according to the information he got from the SPLA commanding officer in Western Lakes, the conflict started after a police officer identified one of the armed youth who was involved in looting and after he was told to put down his arm he resisted then the policeman shot him dead.
“There after some armed youth went and organized themselves and then attacked the police headquarters. This is how the conflict intensified,” Col Santo said.