6 February 2013

Sudan: Girl, 14, Raped and Killed in Wulu, Lakes State

Rumbek — A 14-year-old girl was raped and killed in Wulu county of Lakes State early Wednesday morning by an unknown group of men, the county commissioner, Ezekiel Thiang Mangar, has reported.

South Sudan's security services have been instructed to investigate the rape, which came to light, Thiang said, in a hospital examination carried out after the girl's body was discovered in Wulu town.

The girl suffered from mental problems, according to the commissioner, and often used to leave the house at night without warning. The attack is believed to have occurred at around 3am.

Multiple sources within the Wulu community accused soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) of being responsible. By Wednesday evening the military had not commented on the incident, but Lakes state's caretaker military governor, Major General Matur Chut Dhuol, visited Wulu for second time since taking office last month and instructed county authorities to thoroughly investigation the attack.

Wulu is the most peaceful county in Lakes state. The county is inhabited by the Jur-Beli community who rely on farming and bee keeping for their livelihoods.

Community leaders have told Sudan Tribune that they fear approaching the SPLA as Lakes state has been under military rule since Dhuol replaced his predecessor Chol Tong Mayay in January, whose dismissal has been blamed on his failure to prevent and mitigate fatal clashes between clans of the Dinka tribe.

The new governor has warned politicians against conducting political discussions, threatening to close the state legislative assembly should MPs continue to debate issues in the Rumbek parliament.

In January, a 34-year-old woman and her daughter were raped in Atit village located in north-east Rumbek, the capital of Lakes state, however, the government failed to arrest any suspects.

As in the case in Wulu county, the local community leaders pointed accused members of the SPLA of being involved.

The rape occurred when the SPLA were deployed to separate the Panyon and Amothnhom sections of the Dinka tribe of Rumbek Central county during inter-communal violence that left 25 people dead.

Thiang stated that security in Wulu was stable but cautioned that the clashes in Rumbek Central county were also affecting his county.

He claimed that most of Gormar payam (district) in the northern part of Wulu county had been occupied by pastoralists, with their cattle causing considerable damage to crops.

"[The] Wulu situation is normal, [the] only [problem is that] the Joth and Nyang [sections of the Dinka tribe] are in Gormar payam with their cattle," he said.

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