South Sudan: Around 30 Killed in Attack On Kolnyang in Jonglei State

Bor — More thank 25 people were reported killed in Kolnyang district (payam) of Bor county on 5 February by armed men suspected to be associated with elements of rebels led by Riek Machar.

One of the mass graves in Bor where more 100 people buried. (Photo: Jonglei state government press officer)

Eleven other people are still missing according to report issued to Sudan Tribune by police officials in Bor on Thursday. Maluak Pach who has relatives in Kolnyang payam said people in his village put the death toll at 34.

Due to the remoteness of the area, Sudan Tribune could not independently verify the claims. However, Manyok Ayuen Malou, whose father and step mother were killed in the attack, said the force which attacked their village was more more than 300 armed men.

"Our family is no more, they killed my father and step mother", said Manyok.

"They came at exactly 5.30 in the evening. They fired RPG [Rocket-propelled grenades] to [my brother] Malou who tried to escape with one vehicle [a track], but they missed him three times. My younger brother too took another car and called my step brother to come in, she was trying to grape somethings from the kitchen,it was too late. They shot her there instantly. The two brothers went by cars. I run in my own direction 'til I reached Malualchat, in the middle of the night", Manyok told Sudan Tribune in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state.

Since mid-December Jonglei has been one the three states worst affected by conflict between the government and a rebel group consisting of army defectors and armed civilians, following a split in the Presidential Guards between those supporting President Salva Kiir and supporters of Machar, who was Kiir's deputy until he was sacked last year.

Although the conflict was triggered by a power struggle within the ruling SPLM, much of the violence has been along ethnic lines, mostly between South Sudan's largest ethnic groups the Dinka and Nuer.

Manyok Ayuen Malou in Bor, Jonglei state, South Sudan. February 6, 2014 (ST)

Manyok said that the men who attacked his village were Nuer, the same tribe as Machar. " They came with women", he said. "they had surrounded the whole village. Father was killed while trying to run to the other side of the village where our mother was".

Police officials in Bor said they had not yet received clear details about the incident.

"What we are earning is the that 11 children are still missing. About 30 killed. [The [attackers] went behind Anyidi payam this afternoon but we don't know where they have reached now. We also heard that the army is following them", said Atong Jamus, a police officials in Bor.

The state capital changed hands between Machar's rebel force and the government - backed by the Ugandan military - four times since the fighting began in Juba on December 15.

Two people with injuries including a priest, pastor Deng Yaau, whose wife and child were killed in the same attack; was among the wounded people in Bor hospital.

"When the problem began in Bor in December 16, we ran to the bush behind Kolnyang. We felt safe in the bush till we returned to the village when the SPLA entered Bor. I did not know that this would happen", Yaau said.

At least 30 people, mostly women and children, died in Kolnyang district (payam) of Jonglei's Bor county following an attack on Wednesday, commissioner Agot Alier said on Thursday.

"The attackers killed people indiscriminately and most of the victims are children, women and elderly villagers," Alier told Sudan Tribune from Bor.

Kolnyang, which is around 30km northeast of Bor, was attacked by armed men from west and south, commissioner Alier said without saying who attackers could have been.

Bor town's Marol market, which has been almost totally destoryed in recent fighting. February 6, 2014 (ST)

No shops are functioning now in Bor to provide food for those who have returned to the town since it was retaken by the government.

Many people who were displaced to Lakes state returned to Bor by boats on Thursday morning but returned to the afternoon.

The United Nations says that 873,800 people have been displaced by crisis, 130,400 of whom have fled to other countries, including 29,100 to Ethiopia.

About 90 per cent of the shops in Bor Marol market have been destroyed, including premise hired by Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

Ruben Kok apartment in Bor with gravitee and writing on it. Jonglei State, South Sudan (ST)

Most houses and some of the best shops that were not destroyed during the conflict now bear names of Nuer men in an apparent effort to claim them.

Tot Gok from Pieri payam of Uror county whose Ruben Kok Alat apartment in Bor Marol market as his and Bol Matai were some of the names witnessed by Sudan Tribune.

BURIALS CONTINUE IN BOR

The collection and burial of dead bodies in Bor town is still continuing almost three weeks after the town was retaken from the rebels on January 18.

One of the mass graves in Bor where more 100 people buried. (Photo: Jonglei state government press officer)

One of the three mass graves in the state is located near Bor cathedral where 22 bodies of women and old men were collected and buried in the church premises.

A local youth leader, Ayar Monywach has called upon the youth to embark on town, as cleaning "it is the top priority now".

More than 1,000 civilians from the Dinka and other tribes, including Ugandans, Kenyans, Sudanese, Ethiopians and Somalians that lived in Bor are believed to have been killed since the war begun.

THOUSANDS DISPLAYED IN JONGLEI

About 150,000 families displayed from Bor; settled in Mingkaman [Guol-yar] of Awerial County are getting little support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other humanitarian agencies. Over 70,000 households had received food aid and non food items from ICRC there.

Hundreds of Dinka Ngok civilians from Pigi County, who have spent about a month in the bush are now seeking humanitarian support in Maluit of Upper state.

Speaking to Santo Deng Yaak by phone, one of the displayed persons in the camp said Pigi commissioner and officials from Maluit county had visited their two camps recently.

"We have not receive any assistance or even see any humanitarian agency here since we came. People are suffering" said Deng. There is "no food", he added.

He accused Ga-jak and Lou Nuer clans, among those responsible for devastating their areas.

"They killed all the elderly people. we were caught unaware. They took everything, including any thing that moves[ all domestics animals], only trees were left standing in the villages", he said.

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