This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
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Residents have complained that placing a military barracks in Pageri was a mistake following harassment by military personnel.
Some individuals in the area claim that the presence of the army has instead caused more harm than good.
“They beat people anyhow and even embarrass families. The presence of the army in the midst of residential areas has created more harm than good,” according to one Mr. Ambrose Vuni in an interview with Gurtong. “They assault people and do not respect homes, our daughters are raped and defiled by these soldiers,” he narrates.
They are requesting the government to relocate the military facility to an isolated place within the region.
“We shall petition this to the parliament”, said Vuni. “Fine, we need the security, but this is too much. The soldiers are instead causing more insecurity to the residents. They have to go. We don’t want them here.” he added.
“Even a passenger vehicle travelling from Juba to Nimule is stopped by this army, because they claim to be acting as traffic personnel, especially to foreign tracks. At the end everything is all about extorting money from them. This is evil,” Vuni angrily explained.
However, when interviewed about the credibility of the allegations the residents were raising against the army, one sergeant, Yar Yar Korym in the office for community liaison said that he cannot confirm the accusations.
He however said that anyone found involved in bothering civilians will be awarded deterrent punishments.
“The presence of the military in Pageri is for security reasons, but as you know, some soldiers have unruly conduct at all times. Residents should not always fear going to the relevant leaders of the army for assistance.” said Korym.
“We have disciplinary and grievance procedures and any disciplinary and grievances action shall be handled as per the Disciplinary and Grievance Policies and Procedures set out by the Military laws.” He added.
“Notwithstanding, the military may, in absolute discretion, suspend any officer with full pay pending the outcome of any investigation or process undertaken under any of the above procedures.”
He also said that their role is to provide national security to the citizens, but not to abuse them.
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