Civilians in Kajo-keji languish in bushes as fighting rages

By James Atem Kuir

Hundreds of residents of Ajio Boma are still languishing in bushes three days after fierce clashes flared up between SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in the area.

The renewed clashes that have been raging on for the past three days without respite has forced the residents to flee to neighbouring Uganda while hundred more ran and took cover in the surrounding bushes according to Rev. Joseph Nicanor D. Aba, the Diocesan Bishop of Liwolo Diocese.

Bishop Aba said that the fighting continued into Wednesday morning in Ajio Boma and a number of residents who had gone to harvest crops in their fields and were caught up between the fighting forces have since then gone missing.

“The situation is very bad at the moment. Many people have gone to hide in the bushes because of the fighting between SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Ajio Boma. Up to this morning the fighting is still going on as we speak,” he reported in an interview with Juba Monitor yesterday.

“The reality is that, people who went back to their gardens were arrested, they were tortured and some of them are being detained by SPLA-IO forces. Still, we do not know where some of them are,” he added.

The clergy said that civilian casualties are not yet known because the fighting is still going on by press time.

He appeals to the peace parties now involved in the violence to cease hostilities and allow residents to return to their homes.

“People are tired of being subjected to displacement again and again. People want to come home and start rebuilding their lives. I am appealing to the signatories to the revitalized peace agreement to really stop fighting and commit this time to implement the peace agreement so that those displaced can return home. I also appeal to the peace monitoring committee to bring the warring elements to account for their deeds,” he stressed.

SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces have often times clashed following the defection of Gen. Moses Lokujo in the area when both forces counter accused each other of triggering the violence.

The 2018 peace accord prohibits the signatory parties from carrying out all forms of hostilities against one another but the truce has repeatedly been violated over the past months.

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