8th August 2020
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Violence and lawlessness continue in Pibor -Youth representative

Author: Garang Abraham Malaak | Published: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Some Jonglei youth in possession of illegal arms | Credit | File photo Courtesy

A youth leader in Pibor says clashes are still ongoing in the area as thousands of people continue to flee killings and destructions.

Last month, Pibor authorities reported that youth from greater Jonglei state launched retaliatory attacks in areas of greater Pibor.

The attacks were reportedly in retaliation over February clashes in Lou-Nuer area when youths from Greater Pibor raided villages in Akobo, killing civilians.

Separate attacks have also been reported in Bor, Twic East and Duk Counties.

The UN Human Rights Commission noted that there has been an increase in intercommunal violence with 658 people killed, 452 wounded, and 592 abducted in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

It revealed that, since January, 65 people have been subjected to sexual violence.

Three weeks ago, the medical charity, Médecins Sans Frontières suspended activities in Pibor following intense communal clashes in the area.

MSF stated that the new and brutal rise in intercommunal clashes in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area has led to its withdrawal after most staff sought safety in the surrounding remote bush area.

It said the fighting was approaching Pibor town, in the east of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, with almost all residents choosing to seek refuge in the surrounding bush, including MSF staff.

A local nurse reported that the fighters are raiding cattle, burning houses, destroying property, and looting.

A youth leader told Eye Radio that “The fighting now is continuing” since June when armed youth from Jonglei communities launched an offensive on the area.

“The ongoing attacks now is not like cattle raid because if you see the attack of Gumuruk, they were able to capture the town and they are now heading to the side Maroiu,” said David Ngaro, the Secretary for External Affairs of the Area’s Youth Union.

He described the ongoing attacks in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area as anarchy.

“Cows were left in some areas where they passed through, they didn’t take them. This means they are looking for children and for towns to burn,” Ngaro alleged.

In May, the UN Human Rights Commissioner called for swift investigations into recent violence that reportedly killed, wounded and displaced people in Jonglei state.

The body said that the perpetrators of these inter-communal acts of violence have not been arrested and prosecuted.

It underlined the importance of ending the circle of retaliatory violence by holding those responsible to account and promoting peace-building between individual communities.

President Salva Kiir has formed a committee led by Vice President, James Wani Igga to address the root causes of the conflicts in Jonglei and Pibor.

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