Security officials in South Sudan’s Jonglei state capital Bor say at least 35 suspected youth gang members detained at a military barracks have broken the detention center and escaped.
This month, Jonglei state crackdown youth groups are commonly known as “Nigga” accused of mastermind attacks, night robberies, and acts of terrorized citizens.
Residents in the Jonglei state capital Bor have been accusing the security forces of harassing and abusing civilians’ rights in the guise of executing an order to crack down the gangs’ groups.
General Ajak Ayuen Mach is the head of the Joint Operations Force. he says the thirty-five youth were detained at Malual Chaat military barracks.
He claimed the suspects used a master key to unlock the cuffs on their feet before breaking the entrance and escaping.
“Only ten people were left in chains, and 35 people unlocked their feet because there were 45 people arrested,” Mach said.
Mach says three officers on duty have been arrested, including a police commander alleged to sneak a master key used by the suspects to escape. And the investigation is underway to trace them individually.
One resident in Bor, Bartholomew Deng, worried that the gang member might retaliate and wreak havoc in the town.
“It’s very unfortunate that these law violators have escaped from the prison, and they are now in an unknown place. As a layman person in the town, I look at it as a bit dangerous. They will go to any ordinary citizen in town,” Deng said.
Deng urges the security forces to hunt down and re-arrest the suspects and ensure they are arraigned in court immediately.
Last week, relatives of some of the detained suspects decried arbitrary detention of their relatives in unknown locations for weeks without trial. They urged the state authorities to either release their relatives or immediately have them charged in a court of law.
The police said the suspects would be arraigned in court after some of their leaders who were on the run were apprehended.