13 Apr 2009

Dar es Salaam

A TANZANIAN national is reported to have been murdered in southern Sudan on suspicion of being a member of the Sudanese intelligence and security service.

The Tanzanian, identified as Wera Tarimo, was slain last Thursday in the Rumbek township of Sudan, along with a Kenyan national named as James Ndungu Wanjiriu.

It could not be immediately established exactly what Tarimo and Wanjiriu were doing in the Sudan.

According to the reports, the duo were suspected of being ’spies’ for Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and were allegedly involved in the assassination of an official with the opposition Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

The SPLM official assassinated on Thursday has been identified as Thon Wuong Manyuon, the movement’s assistant secretary for both Rumbek North County (Maper) and the Lake State secretariat, and also education inspector of Rumbek North County.

According to an eyewitness statement quoted in the Sudan Tribune newspaper, Tarimo and Wanjiriu were then killed on the same day, as part of a revenge campaign by angry relatives of the slain SPLM official.

’’A family member from Rumbek North, who was very angry, took revenge by killing one man from Tanzania and one man from Kenya, suspecting them to be members of the NISS,’’ said the newspaper in its report.

Quoting what it described as a ’foreigner’ who was related to one of the victims, the newspaper said James Ndungu Wanjiriu from Kenya was killed on Thursday at 3 pm, while Wera Tarimo from Tanzania was killed the same day at 8 pm.

It is understood that the bodies of the two were transported from Rumbek to Kenya on Saturday, with Tarimo’s remains expected to be flown out from Kenya to Tanzania.

’’In order to transport the remains of the deceased back to their respective countries, Lake State governor Lt. General Daniel Awet Akot provided assistance to the foreigners by giving them one car with contribution from the Trade Union of East Africa, whose members reside in Rumbek,’’ said the report.

In the meantime, two NISS officers � believed to also be members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) which is the SPLM military wing - are reported to have been placed under arrest in connection with Manyuon’s death.

Lakes State Deputy Governor Awan Guol Riak, who also acts as Sudan’s minister for local government and law enforcement, has called for an investigation into the killing.

’’The officers of the National Security who are suspected of involvement in this killing are in custody awaiting investigation,’’ he said.

In 2005, following a peace agreement ending the second Sudanese civil war, the SPLM chose Rumbek as an interim administrative centre of the semi-autonomous southern regions.

With no multi-storey buildings or paved roads and a population of around 100,000, Rumbek is serviced by a dirt airstrip, and is described as a ’’ramshackle town.’’

Records also show that back in October last year, another Tanzanian national was shot and wounded in his garage in Rumbek, and hardly a week later another Kenyan national was shot dead by an unknown assailant in the same township.

A contingent of 875 soldiers from the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) are currently being deployed to the international peacekeeping forces in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan.

The TPDF squad in Darfur, led by Lieutenant Colonel Ally Katimbe, is part of a hybrid mission set up by the African Union and United Nations Missions in Darfur (UNAMID).


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