Southern Sudan has just witnessed prison break as prisoners disarmed guards and seized control of part of a detention center in Juba, the capital of the country, early on Sunday.
Reports from a National Security Service (NSS) said the stand-off started at about 1:00 a.m. on Sunday (2200 GMT on Saturday), when prisoner- Captain Keribino Wol, overpowered a guard at the prison’s entrance and seized his weapon .
Prison break in Southern Sudan as inmates take over
“We’re fed up and we’re protesting systematic injustice and oppression. All political prisoners and detainees need to be released or given fair trial. The lack of trials is illegal” Wol told Reuters via phone from inside the prison.
The revolt occurred at the detention center at Blue House, the headquarters of the National Security Service.
Wol, in the NSS statement said:
“…mobilized criminals who were in the detention and established a force of 15 and took over one part of the prison cell where he forced the prisoners into a human shield to protect him from our protection forces.”
The NSS said detainees subsequently disarmed five more guards and took away their weapons which amounted to a total of 32 guns and some knives.
It is reported that authorities had opted “to engage Captain Keribino to disarm him peacefully for the safety of the other prisoners.”
South Sudan has been gripped by conflict since late 2013 when rivalry between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar deteriorated into clashes between their supporters, then civil war.
However, Kiir’s government signed a peace agreement last month with his opponents to try and end the war which has uprooted a quarter of the country’s 12 million strong population and devastated the economy.