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WANYJOK - 10 Feb 2013

Man shoots dead wife and three children in South Sudan

A man apparently shot his wife and three children in Wanyjok in South Sudan before killing himself last Thursday night.

Different eyewitnesses said the killer was a SPLA soldier from 5th Division deployed to Mapel in Western Bahr El Ghazal state, who had returned to his home in Wanyjok in Northern Bahr El Ghazal only three days before.

They said they heard gunshots and when they came to the house they found four dead bodies. 

Witnesses admitted not knowing the cause of the incident. Some speculated that he seemed to be having a mental problem, while relatives of the victims declined to give any statement because of the shock of the incident.

The children killed in these mysterious circumstances were said to be aged 8, 6 and 3.

Civil authorities say that this type of incident can be prevented by legal disarmament and banning off-duty SPLA personnel from carrying guns. The county authority has asked national army officers not to allow SPLA personnel to go on private missions with guns, pointing to another incident last month in which an off-duty soldier went on a shooting rampage in Omdurman Payam killing eight civilians and one military police.

According to Aweil East County Commissioner Awet Kiir Awet, the number of gun victims this year already is 13. He said he held several meetings with 3rd Division army officers to address this issue. Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, the commissioner noted that security is a collective responsibility and not that of the police forces alone.