Woman killed, five detained after dispute over radio in Magwi

Five individuals, including 21-year-old Sharon Alonyo Achola, turned themselves in at the Obbo Police Station in Magwi County, in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State, on Thursday.

Five individuals, including 21-year-old Sharon Alonyo Achola, turned themselves in at the Obbo Police Station in Magwi County, in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State, on Thursday. They are accused of allegedly killing a 45-year-old neighbour, Albina Asunta, following a dispute over a small radio set on Monday.

Sharon Alonyo Achola, along with four others, surrendered voluntarily, fearing for her life amidst the alleged crime.

Okuma Oringa Smart, the Head Chief of Obbo Payam in Magwi County, told Radio Tamazuj on Thursday that Sharon was found in police custody without formal arrest.

Chief Oringa Smart disclosed that four additional individuals who witnessed the fatal confrontation have been arrested. They are suspected of inciting the altercation between Albina Asunta and Sharon Alonyo Achola.

The grim details surrounding the incident were narrated by Chief Oringa Smart, shedding light on the circumstances leading to the murder of Albina Asunta. He shared, “Albina Asunta, aged 45 years old, is a resident of Lokongo village, and then this lady who committed the crime has been identified as Sharon Alonyo Achola – she is 21 years. The tragedy unfolded over a dispute involving a radio set borrowed by Alonyo, who returned it with mechanical issues.”

Chief Oringa Smart explained, “And when the elderly woman complained, Alonyo and others beat her to death.”

Chief Oringa Smart noted, “Upon the death of the elderly woman, Alonyo ran to the police station and confessed to the murder. Currently, Alonyo is in police custody, and four other suspects have also been detained in connection with the murder. The investigation continues as authorities work to unravel the full extent of everyone’s involvement in this tragic incident.”

Meanwhile, Colonel Paulino Lokete Iyata, the Inspector of Police in Magwi County, confirmed the unfortunate incident involving the death of Albina Asunta.

 “There is a deceased woman called Albina Asunta, aged 45, and the woman who killed her is a 20-year-old. The altercation escalated after a small misunderstanding over a radio, leading to the tragic death. The alleged perpetrator is currently in police custody in Obbo,” he explained.

Colonel Iyata emphasized the impartial role of the police, stating, “For us, the Police, we cannot judge someone’s crime. The family of the perpetrator has to meet with the family of the deceased because when such things happen, it tarnishes the images of people in the area.”

He underscored the importance of peaceful coexistence among women, cautioning against violent means during conflicts. Colonel Iyata concluded, “Women have to coexist; one should not fight her colleague by picking a big axe to fight. This is not good.”

Angelina Bernandhino, an Eastern Equatoria State women activist serving as the executive director for Women Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment, expressed remorse over the incident and called on the government to hold the perpetrator accountable.

In her statement, she urged women to refrain from engaging in unlawful acts and instead cultivate respect for themselves to avoid legal consequences.

Addressing the specific case, Bernandhino remarked, “This young lady made a grave mistake by beating an elderly woman. In most cases, elderly women deserve respect, and the situation should not have escalated to the point of taking the life of this elderly woman. We strongly condemn such acts occurring in the community.”

She commented further on the consequences of crimes, saying, “Since the young lady has submitted herself before the law, no one will rescue her, and she must face justice. The law must take its course, as such a crime is outlined in the penal code. This should serve as a lesson to other women to steer clear of engaging in similar crimes.”

Article 206 of the South Sudan Penal Code says whoever causes the death of another person commits the offence of murder and, upon conviction, be sentenced to death or imprisonment for life, and may also be liable to a fine; provided that if the nearest relatives of the deceased opt for customary blood compensation.