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Western Lakes Accused of Burning Villages of Pakam Commuity

Zachariah Matur Member of Parliament representing Western Lakes state TNLA (Photo by Morris Dogga):

By Morris Dogga

The government of Western Lakes State has been accused of burning down houses belonging to the community of Pakam forcing over 4,000 residents to desert the area.

Zachariah Matur, a Member of Parliament representing Western Lakes State in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) said the local government and the commissioners burnt down the houses on allegations that the people resisted the disarmament process.

Following the burning of their houses, Matur said the people left the area in protest of the actions of the state government. “That forced them fled the area,” he said.

Last week the state Advisor for Peace and Reconciliation Elizabeth Poth Dumic told Juba Monitor that the state government had no hand in the movement of the people away from Pakam area.

She said the people who were moving away from Pakam were those who did not want to comply with the ongoing disarmament in Western Lakes State.

According to Matur however, when the disarmament process started in the state some members of the communities went into areas where the army could not find them, and therefore they were not disarmed.

Matur said most of those who were displaced from Pakam were women and children who had no guns.

“If they said the people went because they want disarmament, what about those women and children who don’t have guns?” Matur asked.

Matur claimed five children have died since the displacement started. “Nobody is against the disarmament process,” he said adding that the people were running way because of fear that when their guns were taken they would become vulnerable to their neighbor whose guns were not collected.

Matur said he will raise a motion before the August House to seek for an intervention because when the situation was left like that, more problems would erupt.

He said those displaced were settling in an area called Pakrao under unbearable conditions.

MP Matur added that the people from Pakam came and settled in Rumbek seeking for better basic services.

Last year President Salva Kiir declared State of Emergency in the Greater Bahr-El-Ghazal Region.



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