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Fresh attacks leave nine people dead in Jonglei

By Deng Ghai Deng

Authorities in Jonglei State confirmed that at least nine people were killed and several others injured following attacks by unidentified gunmen who attack Nyirol and Uror Counties.

John Samuel, Information Minister in Jonglei State said that armed suspected youth from Murlei attacked Nyirol county in a place called Tetsuam around 5 PM on Wednesday evening.

“ Also the went away with hundred heads of cattle, the youth of the area are still pursuing them. State government condemned the attacks and calls on the authorities in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area to investigate the incidents, track down the suspects and bring them to book,”.

 He added that let people seek peace and give peace a chance so that the two governments Jonglei State and Greater Pibor will continue to engage as well as from the local ground.

Meanwhile, Jay Adingora Alual, Minister of Information in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area said that he was not informed about the attacks in Jonglei and couldn’t verify whether the attacks were carried out by armed men from his area.

“I am not aware personally and as the government up to now we have not actually received any official information coming from our counterparts in Jonglei state. We cannot confirm whether it’s true that those people are from Greater Pibor here or not.” Alual said

He added that the authorities in Pibor continue to engage the young men in the area to live peacefully among themselves and with their neighbors.

Edmond Yakani, Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said that the continuous deadly attacks in Greater Jonglei could amount to crimes against humanity and the authorities should do more to put it to an end.

 “The government should ensure that there is a presence of law enforcement agents on the ground to deter this deadly armed violence from happening. And personally, I am advocating that our ministry of interior should establish a unity of police service that is meant to deter these incidents from happening because the disturbance is that these incidents don’t happen out of isolation, so information about mobilization of armed youth normally come in advance either one or two weeks but this information has nobody that take it seriously. Governments at all levels at country level, state level and state level invest less on conflict prevention. But they fund peace dialogues after atrocities are committed.” Yakani said

Malual Yom Dor, Head of the Department of Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Juba, says cattle related inter-communal violence in South Sudan has persisted because the government has been putting the cart before the horse. Dor says neighboring countries including Kenya and Uganda used to experience similar violence but were able to end it by using the right approach. He says South Sudan should borrow a leaf from those countries.

“The first thing is for the government to enact a law in  criminalizing the cattle raiding and then it’s addressed as a criminal issue. The second thing is to collect guns from the hands of the civilians and encourage children from the communities who are not going to school to go to school that means the schools have to be made available and the 4th thing is development, make roads so that they are engaged in business and the last thing bringing the communities who are engaging in cattle raiding and sensitize them about peace.” Dr. Dor said.

Earlier, more than 70 people were reported killed two weeks ago in Jonglei state, Unity state, and the Abyei Special Administrative Area, the latest in a string of deadly attacks and counter attacks that occurred across South Sudan. This prompted the U.S. embassies in Juba and Khartoum to issue a joint statement calling on all sides to return to dialogue and urge the government to deescalate the violence.

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