Over 100 people abducted in Lainya County

By Elia Joseph Loful

At least 107 civilians have been abducted by unknown gunmen in Lainya County of Central Equatoria States allegedly by the National Salvation Front (NAS).

The people abducted include women.

South Sudan People’s Defense Force Spokesperson Maj. General Lul Ruai Koang alleged the young people were forcefully recruited by the National Salvation Front.

Lul said the SSPDF received intelligence reports indicating that NAS has been conducting force recruitment of young people under their control.

“We received the call from one of the local chiefs in the area. They complained that suspected members of NAS were abducting young men in the villages,

“So what the chief was calling abduction of young men was not a reality about abduction, but a forceful recruitment by NAS taking this young people as their fighters,” he alleges.

 Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) confirmed abduction saying most of the abductees were women.

He expressed fear that they could be sexually abuse.

“We estimated that 25-30 percent could be women and we are worried again those issues of sexual violence may be associated,” Yakani said.

Yakani said he received the information from a lawmaker in the area.

Early January, the Hold-Out Groups signed a peace deal in Rome Italy with the government in which all the parties were to observe ceasefire.

Yakani said the case was not the first to be reported but other related incidences happened also earlier in Morobo where a chief was beheaded.

“Based on this, we have a concern that the silence of CTSSAVM as a mechanism entrusted to monitor, verify and report on such incidences is disturbing. This was not the first incident in the same area, a similar incident happened in Morobo where a chief was beheaded, women abducted, in Otogo where armed people threatened local communities in their farms,” he explained.

He said the body tasked to monitor cessation of hostilities remains quiet about the issue adding it was third case reported in a period less than a month.

Mr. Yakani called on the abductors to stop the act saying they were committing human rights atrocities and they should immediately release people as soon as possible.

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