Southern Sudan minister shot dead

By Nangayi Guyson – Juba – South Sudan’s minister for rural development and co-operations  Jimmy Lemi Milla has been shot dead. The southern army spokesperson said.

South Sudan's minister Jimmy Lemi Milla

South Sudan's minister Jimmy Lemi Milla

The incident comes only days after referendum results confirmed that the region will become would become the world’s newest independent state on 9 July.

South Sudan’s army spokesperson Philip Aguer said.”The minister was shot dead  inside his ministry on Wednesday by a driver working at the ministry who also killed a guard at the door way and then shot himself.”

According to”Reuters” news, three officials confirmed the dead minister was Jimmy Lemi. No motive was immediately clear for the attack, which underlines insecurity in the South Sudan capital Juba ahead of independence.

The motive for Wednesday’s shooting is not yet clear, but officials in the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) believe it was over a personal matter.

Milla was a former supporter of Northern Sudan, but switched allegiance to the SPLM after 2005, when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed to end two decades of civil war.

Violence in the south remains persistent six years after a peace deal ended decades of north-south civil war. Ethnic tension and tit-for-tat cattle raids killed an estimated 3 000 people in 2009 alone, although clashes had subsided ahead of the January referendum.