A military court in South Sudan has sentenced a soldier convicted of murder to death by firing squad, and dismissed 20 others from the military for crimes including rape, murder and theft committed in 2013-2016.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) general court martial said on Wednesday that it had heard 38 cases since 2013, of which 17 suspects were acquitted due to lack of evidence and the remainder convicted of crimes such as murder, rape, abduction, negligence, dissertation, embezzlement and theft.

Joseph Oduange Kompeo, who previously served under the Military Police Unit, was found guilty of shooting dead his colleague, Private William Deng Uchella on May 1, 2016, and is to be executed with firing squad.

The court also convicted five others of murder, and ordered them to pay blood compensation of 51 cows or an equivalent of 320 U.S. dollars to the relatives of the deceased or face jail terms of up to three years.

According to South Sudanese laws, murderers face up to 10 years in jail with a fine paid to the victim’s family, or a maximum of the death penalty, and rapists face up to 14 years.

Defense attorney Peter William, said he is going to appeal the verdict within 15 days as provided by law.

South Sudan has been raged by more than three years of civil war that has created one of the world’s fastest growing humanitarian crises as some 4 million people have been displaced internally or externally.

UN human rights investigators and other rights campaigners have on several occasions accused both the army and rebels of committing atrocities since civil war.

Reacting to the verdict, Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juk said the sentences will send a clear message that bad behavior and impunity will not be tolerated in the military. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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