31 January 2013

Sudan: Jonglei - Three Killed in Twic East Ambush

Bor — Three people are said to have been killed and three others wounded in an attack by unknown gunmen on Nyuak payam [district] on Wednesday morning, according to the Commissioner of Twic East County, Dau Akoi Jurkuch.

"Another tragedy, it was an attack on women and men who were in the bush, cutting thatching grass. Two women and a man were killed and another three including a woman were injured", Akoi told Sudan Tribune from Panyangoor.

Commissioner Akoi accused members of David Yau Yau's rebel group of carrying out the attack.

At Bor Civil Hospital where the wounded were taken, Ajah Manyuon, described how she "narrowly" escaped after being surrounded by a group of men armed with guns, machetes, and spears wearing green camouflage uniform similar to that of the South Sudanese army.

"Many of them surrounded me. One person was about to shoot me but the rest talked to him, and he took the machete and hit me on the head, there was too much bleeding, so I fell down and he hit me for the second time."

Ajah said that she pretended to be dead in order to survive.

"They kicked me three times, and they saw me lifeless, so they left", she explained to Sudan Tribune in Bor.

She claimed her attackers spoke to each other in the Murle language, the tribe from which Yau Yau hails and the community that he has recruited from for his rebellion.

The men, who were carrying dried pieces of meat and water cans, had disappeared back into the bush by the time she was able to get up and return back to her house.

"At home I was told that the same people killed three others in the same place I went to", she added.

Maluong Mayom, a 28-year-old-man, another eyewitness said he was shot in the arm by a group of armed men at short range, but he managed to runaway before they approached him.

"I was alone in the forest, the bush is thick and before I begun cutting the tree, I heard the feet steps, as I tried to look in that direction, I felt the power of the bulletin in [my] arm."

After being shot he dropped to the flaw and escaped in the opposite direction, he said, meaning that he did not get a good look at his attackers.

However, he was still certain that his attackers "must be from [the] Murle" tribe.

Violence related to cattle raiding and revenge attacks mainly between the Murle, Dinka and Nuer has killed around 2,000 people over the last two years in Jonglei, according to UN figures.

Since March last year the South Sudan army (SPLA) has been attempting to disarm the population with mixed results. Some communities accuse the army of providing them with adequate protection after they have disarmed leaving them vulnerable to group who avoided the process.

David Yau Yau's first rebellion began in 2010 when he failed to win the seat representing Pibor in the state parliament. He accepted an amnesty in 2011 but rebelled again in April 2012, allegedly with the backing of Sudan.

Khartoum denies backing rebel groups in South Sudan but unidentified helicopters have been seen by the UN landing in areas on Pibor County controlled by Yau Yau; evidence, the SPLA says, that Khartoum is using his rebellion to destabilise the nation that split from Sudan 18 months ago.

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