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Kiir appoints Manawa to head committee probing Leer violence

By James Atem Kuir

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Wednesday constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate the ongoing violence in Leer County, Unity State. The President appointed Minister of Water Resource and Irrigation Manawa Peter Gatkuothas the committee chair.

The formation of the committee comes days after armed youth reported to have come from Mayendit and Koch counties launched attacks on several villages in Leer County killing 35 people including women and children.

The violence, the deadliest yet to be witnessed, sparked a countrywide outrage among citizens and prompted calls for the sacking of the state governor DrJosephNguenMonytuilby activists and youth who demonstrated in front of parliament this week.

Media reports this week also indicated that of dozen other people were wounded while atrocities including killing, raping, burning villages, looting, and destruction of livelihoods were also committed during the days of fighting.

In the decree, President Kiir gave the committee fourteen days to report back their finding to him.

Those displaced by the fighting including women and children were said to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance following the attacks which erupted after elements of the splinter group Kitgwang Faction clashed with the SPLM/A-IO forces in the area.

Oil-rich Unity State has continued to experience violence even after the signing of the 2018 peace agreement which ended the civil war and brought together former warring parties to form a unity government to implement provisions of the accord.

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