Who authorized the Killing of Detainees at Mabur-Zeed Detention Center in Yirol?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, Tong Law Chambers, Juba, JAN/20/2017, SSN;

When the people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for an independent State, the choice of life over death, it was a choice made as to what kind of future we and the generation to come will enjoy, it was a choice made that we and our offsprings will have a life of freedom, justice and equal rights for all.

This, however, is not the case in Yirol. This hope has been dashed away by the inhumane acts perpetrated on the innocent and vulnerable persons whose freedom and liberties have been unlawfully and arbitrarily restrained.

Mabur-Zeed detention center in Yirol is such an illegal detention center in which most devastating, cruel, degrading and inhumane acts are being meted on the prisoners on daily basis.

As the title of this article suggests, not only did the authorities in Yirol authorized and ordered arbitrary and indefinite detention, incommunicado detention, intimidations and extortion which are common practices, beatings and torture are quite taking a toll as an order of the day.

But most heinous of all, the government ordered a shoot-to-kill on five (5) detainees without any proper due process of the law. The five (5) detainees were shot dead on the orders of the governor of the state in which one (1) died on spot, two (2) died lying on the ground around the detention center as they were refused any medical attention on the orders of the governor.

Worst still, the bodies of the other two (2) detainees were found floating on the waters of Lake Yirol, having been shot and left at the river-bank. This is the state of human rights in Yirol.

Yirol that was hoped by all to be the most peaceful, loving and respectful and the one that is said to be most stable, secured and would rapidly get developed among the 28 states, unfortunately is in complete pain of human rights abuses and violations.

In this part of the world, we’re being subjected to arbitrary, indefinite and incommunicado detention; and we’re being extorted and intimidated on daily basis if one speaks out on matters that concern the wellbeing and welfare of the state and its people and at certain point being killed.

Who authorized the killing of detainees at Mabur-Zeed detention center in Yirol?

Obviously, there’s just no any other person more superior in that particular part of the world other than the governor himself. Reports from most reliable sources and most truth-worthy verified information proved that it was indeed the governor himself who ordered the killings of the detainees under the pretext that they’re thieves who deserve not to live but be killed like chickens.

It was reported too from the close associated circles and right-hand people who fenced the governor that it was the same governor who refused the medics to attend to the badly injured detainees until they died of their gunshot wounds lying on the ground in Mabur-Zeed detention facility.

What kind of leadership is this? This practice of incessant violation of the individual’s rights amounts to a blatant violation of the provisions of article 11 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011, which guaranteed that every person has the inherent right to life, dignity and the integrity of his/her person which shall be protected by law; and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.

Not only that, continued indefinite and incommunicado detention of uncharged detainees is a clear violation of the spirit of article 12 of the TCSS, 2011, which as well stipulates that every person has the right to liberty and security of person; no person shall be subjected to arrest, detention, deprivation or restriction of his or her liberty except for specified reasons and in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.

A lot is desired to be said here. As the state authorities beginning with the governor himself have no any idea of what it means to observe tripartite principles of the rule of law, respect for human rights and dignity of the person as well as good governance, the law continued to be kept at bay and rights continued to be violated with impunity.

This is the case of detainees at Mabur-Zeed detention center who are subjected to torture on daily basis which violates the provisions of article 18 of the TCSS, 2011, which guarantees that no person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

Who does this law protect really? The worst of all is the violation of the right to life which is strictly prohibited under article 21(1) of the TCSS, 2011, that no death penalty shall be imposed, save as punishment for extremely serious offences in accordance with the law.

Nobody should be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life whatsoever the case. I wish the governor has a wise legal advisor to give him tips on how to deal with people who have come into contact with the law and those who are in conflict with the law, and if he does then I believe his legal advisor reads the law upside down or a fresh graduate who has no any idea of how to give wise legal advice concerning people who have come into contact with the law and those who’re in conflict with the law.

These are two different categories of people you’re dealing with on daily basis. It is however highly recommended that a fact-finding committee has to be constituted to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of these innocent detainees and a proper recommendation as to who is responsible for their death be made public and those responsible be made to answer for wrong doing.

The writer is a Barrister at Law at Tong Law Chambers and can reached at tongbullen@gmail.com


  1. Dear:Barrister at Law at Tong Law Chambers:

    I read your article you posted in the forum South Sudan Nation(SSN) I have sensed your emotion very well! In your question topicthat has said “WHO AUTHORIZED THE KILLING OF DETAINEES AT MABUR ZEED AT DETENTION AT YIROL CENTER?” The killing of the detainess is not well clear.You have to investigate from the relevant authorities to en able you establish the truth of their deaths.You said the governor who have authorized the killing.But,do not jump to suspect a governor without good reasons on the ground! The law will turn on you for false alleged strong allegation on governor! Him,the governor,he or she,they know what they are doing in the governmentThey the detainess,they must have stolen things for people!

    For me,there is no mericy at all for theft!As you know Rumbek state,is the worst state in the South Sudan in the country,because people are stealing people things unlawfully! The governor,cannot kill people before undergoing the judiciary system! Thank you!

    MO. USA



  2. Tong Kot Kuocnin says:

    i hope you did understand the essence of the article. well, you maybe right as per your understanding but that’s not being the case of the detainees shot dead at Mabur-Zeed detention center in Yirol. these detainees were shot dead at day light upon the orders of the governor of the state. if i remind you about legal procedures involved in this case, you find that our law(s) is/are silence about a governor ordering shoot-to-kill of any suspect of any crime leave alone being accused or suspected of mere theft. there is no any provision of the law which says that if you (Abiko) for instance stole a chicken i should order a shoot-to-kill on you. where do i get such powers? even the president of the republic doesn’t have such powers under the constitution. our constitution prohibits death penalty and if done, then it is the supreme court that orders a hanging of any convict to death upon confirmation of that death sentence by the president as well. thus, as a reminder to you, this is not a mere accusation but the truth, even the families of those shot dead are preparing their turn on the governor as we speak. nobody has licence to kill except through due process of the law which has not been followed in this case. he order that those inmates be shot dead without any court order and refused further for the critically injured to be taken to hospital. you said no mercy for theft, well, that’s your opinion but the law says the opposite. nobody is kill at will except through due process of the law. that means, it is the court of law to order, based on evidence presented before it, who should serve any sentence as prescribed by the law. not your thinking and your perception as well.
    Tong Kot Kuocnin
    LLB(Juba), LLM(Nairobi)
    Master of Laws Candidate, University of Juba
    Barrister at Law

  3. Dear: Tong Kot Kuocin:

    I am grateful for your responding comment! Well,I hear what you have said very much indeed! But,I can agree with you according in my principles.

    Now,you accused the governor to be one who is responsible for the death of the inmates in Yirol.But,you failed to tell his name and her name.Again,you failed to tell the names of those inmates especially those who were shot for nothing.! The governor will be accountable for his own wrong doing! He or her,they have no right to take the laws on their own hands! I want His Excellency President Salva Kirr,to step in! He has to form a commitee to investigate the death of the said inmates!He should summon a governor immediately for questioning on alleged accused allegations against the governor! He is not suppose to bypass totally!

    By law,criminals are entittled for fair treatment!Even those who are killing people on manslaughter case! Thank you!




  4. jackson laku says:

    Court of justice are not working due to neglects of south sudan leaders

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