By Kwanta Douglas –
One South Sudanese national has been confirmed dead and four are fighting for their lives at Nakuru Level Five Hospital in Kenya after they were set ablaze by an angry mob, who accused them of attempting to sexually assault a neighbour.
The five – Ajang Chol Ajang, Akuien Chol Ajang, Garang Chol Ajang, Guor Anya Guor, and Bul Garang Bul, all in their 20s – suffered serious burn injuries after their rented house at Mawanga estate was set alight by the mob.
Kut Maketh Duk, the leader of the South Sudanese community in Nakuru County, on Monday confirmed that one of the five, Garang Chol Ajang, died while receiving treatment at Nakuru Specialist Hospital.
“It is a sad day that we have lost one of the young men, Garang Chol Ajang, who sustained burn injuries in the incident.
Ajang Chol Ajang, who is admitted at the Nakuru Nursing Home hospital, is in a critical condition,” Mr Duk told the Nation.
The Nation established that some of the victims suffered more than 30 percent burns.
nurse attending to three of the victims at Nakuru Level Five Hospital, said the patients were in a stable condition despite the high-degree burns on their bodies.
“They sustained serious burn injuries ranging from 30-60 percent and we are trying to manage the burns. Meanwhile, the three are in a stable condition,” said the nurse.
A report made at the Teachers Police Post showed that the five were attacked on Friday night when a mob accused them of attempting to physically assault a woman in their neighbourhood.
“On Friday night at around 10pm, the Sudanese nationals tried to seduce a woman in their neighbourhood. Angry residents thereafter stormed their residence and set alight their home with petrol. During the incident, five South Sudanese nationals sustained serious burn injuries and they are undergoing treatment at various hospitals,” reads the report seen by the Nation.
Police said they were pursuing the suspects who set the house ablaze.
“We have launched investigations into the incident and we will ved in the ordeal,” said Nakuru East sub-county police Commander Elena Kabukuru.
Mr Duk urged the police to expedite their investigations and arrest the perpetrators.
“I call on investigative agencies to move swiftly, investigate and arrest those involved in the arson attack. The incident is totally unacceptable and unfortunate,” he said.
“Meanwhile, I urge members of the Sudanese community in Kenya and in South Sudan to remain calm as investigative agencies handle the matter.”
On Monday morning, a representative of the South Sudanese Embassy visited the scene of fire.
The Nakuru Human Rights Network, through its Director David Kuria, also condemned the incident, terming it unacceptable and unfortunate.
“A crime is a crime and I regret what happened. I strongly condemn the arson incident and l want to urge law enforcement agencies to move swiftly and investigate the matter,” Mr Kuria told the Nation.
“It is wrong for people to take the law into their own hands. They should hand suspects over the police. It is sad that members of the public have turned themselves into complainants, investigators, prosecutors and judges but the law is very clear.
“Even if a suspect is caught red-handed committing a crime, such a person should be intercepted and handed over to law enforcement agencies.”