South Sudan minister Milla shot, killed

Thursday, February 10, 2011

South Sudan's Cooperatives and Rural Development Minister, Jimmy Lemi Milla, was shot and killed yesterday at his office in Juba, South Sudan. Officials said they believed the shooting was not politically motivated.

This is such a shock to the people here, coming so soon after our peaceful referendum.

—Richard Lukodu

According to witnesses, after the minister and his bodyguard had entered the ministry building, the shooter broke into the minister's car and took from it the bodyguard's pistol, entered the building, and shot and killed first the minister, then the bodyguard. He was subdued and taken into custody. According to officials, the shooter, who may have been the minister's brother-in-law, had been employed by Milla and wanted to be paid.

Civil servant Richard Lukodu said, "This is such a shock to the people here, coming so soon after our peaceful referendum... This is the result of one angry man — and people should not think that this is reflective of all of south Sudan."

South Sudan held a referendum last month on secession from Sudan. Following decades of civil war officially ending in 2005, violence in the south has been a continuing problem, but lessened leading up to the referendum. The result of the referendum was overwhelmingly for secession, and the President of Sudan has stated acceptance of that result.