Three inmates managed to escape from the jail, which is in the eastern part of the county, after they had reportedly spent several days awaiting investigation on charges leveled again them by the county criminal investigation department (CID). The prisoners were suspected of cattle thefts committed last month and had been arrested pending investigation. However, the investigations were delayed for unknown reasons.
An officer of CID, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that one inmate was killed by a prison guard. “It is correct, one inmate charged for cattle theft was killed and three of his colleague inmates escaped away from our local jail in Abiriu.” He added that “investigations are pending due to lack of investigators on the ground.” The officer noted that the dead inmate is a civilian from Abiriu town.
In a separate incident on Tuesday night, three men sustained gunshot wounds and one person was reported dead in clashes which are suspected to be revenge attacks carried out by the Nyang section of Rumbek Central county against the sub clan of Rup section. The clashes erupted in Ayen cattle camp just 10km away from Rumbek Central County. The three wounded in the shooting were admitted in Rumbek civil hospital.
Lakes state has been rocked in recent days by violent incidents which are thought to be the result of the killing of paramount chief Apareer Chut Duol, brother of the current caretaker Governor, last week. In the longer term, these events are part of a pattern of lawlessness, attack and counter attack which is long established among the communities of LS.
The caretaker military Governor, Maj. Gen. Matur Chuol Dhol, was appointed in 2012 in what is believed to have been an effort to improve the security situation in the state. However, complaints about the failure to hold the expected gubernatorial election, combined with reported heavy-handedness on the part of the state security organs, have led to calls from some groups for the removal of the caretaker Governor.
Ironically, some sources report that the current situation has led to state authorities becoming isolated, with some communities refusing to co-operate with investigations. This has reportedly caused difficulties in bringing criminals to justice and maintaining law and order.