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Statement of Timothy Taban Juch, Governor Akobo State

We received an emergency cell phone call on direct talks with Moses Majok Gatluak Governor of Bieh State, last Monday 10th February 2020, from his Head Quarters Waat.

The content of the message reveals that Mor Lou from Akobo West, are displaced in their residential places by criminal Youth. The displacement covers the three Akobo West Counties, bordering Bieh State (Walgak, Diror and Boung). Governor Majok and my Deputy Stephen Tut Puol, as eye witnesses reported to me that there was influx of displaced people arriving from Akobo West to Waat which the majority were elderly people, children and women to the place where the head Quarters of Akobo is temporarily centred and they were warmly received by Bieh State Governor as IDPs.

Today we have received one of the Akobo State officials from Waat as an eye witness to the event that happened supported with a video cassette portrayed at the site by the camera man to confirm the event of displacement which forced the thirsty percent of the population of Akobo West to flee, from their residential areas due to suspected criminals that resulted into child abduction and killing of innocent people.

On 12th December 2019, two men were killed between Kaikuiny and Akobo East, on 15th December. Twenty five heads of cattle were raided and Lou Youth managed to recover them without loss. On the 19th December 2019, 224 heads of cattle were raided in Kaikuiny Payam and they were recovered back after fierce fighting. On 24th December 2019, a man was shot dead watching cattle and they took the cattle. When people followed them up, they disappeared with the cattle and were untraceable. On the 17th January 2020, a man was shot dead looking after his cattle and they took the cattle, they were followed up by youth at a long distance walk. When they were caught up, they recovered the cattle after a serious armed confrontation in which five men from Lou youth and three cattle raiders were killed in action and there were no casualties reported. On 19th a group of women were ambushed between Diror and Tangnyang, one woman was killed and her child was abducted and the rest escaped for safety to mention only a few.

Beside the threats and intimidation, another situation developed from llocai kujur/ Dak Kueth, calling for Lou Youth to rally behind him to organize themselves to launch an attack against Murle community at dry seasonal camps. The Lou youth gathered at their meeting points to advance ahead while leaving behind their elderly people, women and children without protection. This has caused fear to the community left behind beside the unexpected attack by the cattle raiders or criminals. This aspect has added into the fear of the community to move to Waat for protection by the Government forces.

It’s not worth mentioning that the Opposition (IO) claims the control of people of Akobo Counties and when they cannot manage to provide their security, food, medicines and shelters just to mention a few. To express this situation is ‘anarchy’ state of lawlessness and disorder by opposition in control of the area.

Nothing can correct these situations unless the people allowed State government to go to the area to occupy the three headquarters of the Akobo West Counties depending on peace agreement because the opposition is not giving peace a chance to allow the governments ‘Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) under the ministry of Humanitarian and disasters Management emergency intervention.

We are appealing to the neighboring governors of Boma, Latjor and Bieh States to stop this barbaric activities and humiliation against others community. They should also know that they are part and parcel to the peace agreement.

We also appeal to the national government to device means of protecting civilians and urge the humanitarian agencies to provide humanitarian support to the displaced population of Akobo West IDPs in Waat.

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