NASIR – At least six people were killed, and nine others were wounded in a clash between South Sudan’s People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and local youth in Nasir over the weekend, a local official said on Sunday, stemming from a dispute over access to a fishing pool.
Tensions flared on Friday when SSPDF soldiers tried to remove civilians from a fishing pool near Nasir town, leading to the shooting death of a man from Cielang, according to Lam Gatdet Rik, former office manager for the Nasir County Commissioner.
“Tension started two days ago when SSPDF personnel in Nasir demanded locals vacate a fishing pool, which they eventually did. However, on Saturday morning, the SSPDF soldiers who went to the fishing pool found a man and killed him,” Gatdet told Sudans Post.
“The victim, hailing from Cielang, was shot dead at Toor Juoch, just two kilometers west of Nasir town. Elderly individuals intervened, calming the situation without further conflict,” he added.
However, violence erupted again on Sunday morning after SSPDF soldiers attacked and injured a man traveling from Kuarjala to Kuachlualthoan, the center of Nasir town. This angered local youth, sparking a clash with the soldiers.
“This morning, a man traveling from Kuarjala to Kuachlualthoan was attacked by SSPDF, resulting in his injury. This incident incited the local youth, sparking the confrontation,” he started.
“Five SSPDF soldiers lost their lives in the clash, and four others sustained injuries. Five civilians were also wounded, with one individual in critical condition due to a bullet wound in the leg. Remember that one person was killed yesterday by the soldiers,” he added.
Gatdet further added that SSPDF soldiers set fire to houses in the Hai Puor district before retreating to their barracks and that armed youth currently control Nasir town and the market and tensions remain high.
“The youth remain present in the town and market areas, while the soldiers have returned to their barracks,” Rik said. “Soldiers set ablaze houses in the Hai Puor district. Tensions persist between SSPDF soldiers and local civilians.”
Gatdet appealed to the army leadership to de-escalate the situation and find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“My message to the leadership of SSPDF is for calm to return to Nasir town and peaceful resolution of the conflict,” he said.
Sudans Post was unable to independently verify Gatdet’s account or obtain comment from the SSPDF as phone calls for SSPDF spokesman rang unattended too