South Sudan President's Plea to Police: Stop Killing and Robbing

(Bloomberg) -- South Sudanese President Salva Kiir lambasted his nation’s soldiers and police for robbing and killing civilians during a crime wave in the war-torn country that’s facing economic collapse.

“Shame on you -- you are the custodians of the law,” Kiir told a police conference Thursday in the capital, Juba, decrying acts by law enforcement and army officers he said had forced people to flee the country. In Juba, “people are still being killed in their homes at night,” he said. “By day-time they are soldiers and by night they are criminals.”

The world’s newest country is embroiled in a more than four-year civil war that’s claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced more than 4 million people from their homes. There’s been an upsurge in armed robberies and killings in Juba in the past year, with witnesses often blaming men in uniform. The United Nations has repeatedly accused the army of atrocities including the rape and killings of civilians.

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