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UNITY STATE - 11 Jun 2024

70 suspected gang members arrested in Bentiu IDP Camp

At least 70 suspected gang members were arrested on Sunday and Monday morning after they forcefully disarmed some policemen of their guns after the latter tried to contain gang violence in the Bentiu Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) Camp in Unity State on Sunday.

The joint police comprising of officers and men from the National Police Service and SPLM/A-IO were deployed at the Bentiu IDP camp in December 2020 by Former Governor Dr. Joseph Monytuil to protect the 120,000 residents from marauding gangs who were causing insecurity in the camp.

David Matut Both, the police commander of Sector One and Sector Two gates told Radio Tamazuj Monday that he had ordered the arrest of 70 suspected gang members who were alleged to have been involved in Sunday’s chaos.

“Our investigation is still ongoing to identify who was involved in the fighting. For now, we are investigating the criminal gang members to identify the exact cause of the problem. We will find out from them what makes them fight among themselves instead of promoting peace among in Bentiu,” he said. “The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is working very hard to identify those involved in the fighting and after we get them, they will be held accountable and face justice on the same day.”

According to Matut, two people were wounded during the gang clashes and they were taken to the MSF Hospital within the camp for treatment.

The police officer said there are twelve gang groups in the camp since it was established in 2014.

Meanwhile, Bangoag John Kai, 33, said the residents of the camp welcomed the arrest of the errant youths.

“The residents in Bentiu IDP Camp are welcoming the arrest of 70 gang members. We are very delighted by what our security personnel have done by arresting those gangsters,” he said. “This time around we will be free from gang members because they will not attack us during our movements. They normally assault us while we are going to work.

Several residents of the camp told this publication that security has been averagely good since the deployment of the joint police but things got out of hand on Sunday when the youthful gang members clashed. They however said the police were able to restore calm immediately.