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Six Ethiopia scholarship students killed in Akobo

By Deng Ghai Deng

Authorities in Akobo County of Jonglei State confirmed that at least six students were killed by unidentified gunmen and two others survived the attack while one extremely injured in the incident. 

Akobo County Commissioner Gatwech Reat Deng said that he managed to meet the youth who went to the scene where six students were murdered.

“We found six people dead and the one who arrived in the hospital sustained serious injuries. The deceases are students who were returning from Ethiopia to visit their relatives in Akobo West when they were waylaid by armed bandits suspected to from the Pibor Administrative Area,” Deng said.

He added that these youths carried out three aggressive assaults and that was the 4th in the same place. In the first attack they abducted one child and the second attack they abducted two children as the third attack killed two young men while they plundered all properties of the locals.

He revealed that the youth in the area were pursuing the assailants who headed eastward in the direction of the neighboring Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

Deng added that the local given authorities should shoulder full responsibility to halt the armed youth from attacking other communities, otherwise the Greater Jonglei region might again plug into dead communal violence.

However, Jay Adingora Alual, the Minister for Information in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area said that they were not aware about the occurrence.

“I cannot confirm or deny the alleged assailants came from our area. It is not yet verified, so what we just need to know is to see that these criminal activities stop. This is our objective and this is why we are working for it in order to end these criminal acts because otherwise we will just be keeping on losing innocent people while we are not benefiting from anything.” Alual said.

Meanwhile, Lokali Amae, the Chief Administrator for the Greater Pibor Administrative Area said that some armed youths were inside the area of Nanaam about two weeks ago but didn’t know what they were doing. 

“I call on the national government to expedite the disarmament plan in Greater Jonglei so as to prevent armed civilians from harming each other. Some time, lack of communication networks and feeder roads to ease movement have posed challenges to Pibor authorities in curbing criminal activities among young people in remote areas,” Amae said. 

In 2019 President Salva Kiir approved a plan to intensify joint police patrols along the borders of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area and Jonglei state to contain cattle raids and child abductions. Under the plan, a police force comprised of 25,000 young men and women from different ethnic communities would undergo thorough training and work to eradicate organized crime and maintain law and order between the Pibor area and neighboring Jonglei state. President Kiir instructed the National Police Service to make arrangements for the training and deployment of the new recruits in the border area of Gadiang as the plan has not yet to materialize. 

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