Four policemen killed; 6 wounded in Lakes State fresh clashes

In Lakes State, the police have reported four of its officers killed and six sustained gunshot injuries in a new cattle raid incident.

The fighting occurred at Yirol West County on Tuesday morning; no suspect arrested so far.

Police spokesperson Capt. Elijah Mabior said suspected arm cattle raiders from Rumbek East stormed Majama cattle at Yirol West County, raiding unknown livestock numbers.  But police promised to recover cattle looted during the attack.

He stated that casualties among the attackers and the cattle owners are unknown. 

Cattle raiding occurred on the day State governor Hon. Makur Kulang launched his peace campaign in greater Yirol Counties on Monday.

“We received information about cattle raiding yesterday in Yirol west County. Police officers were sent to recover the livestock, but unfortunately, they fall under attack from unknown arms groups.”

 Three officers were killed on the spot, and one policeman died a short while ago—the wounded policemen, including the head of the mission. So, officers return without cattle recovered.”

The police spokesman further says wounded officers are treated at Mapourdit hospital.

Yirol West County Executive Director James Dhour has confirmed the cattle raiding but says he did not have comprehensive information.

Gunmen killed infants, kidnaped two boys in Bor

Attackers in Jonglei State have killed an 8-month-old baby and kidnapped two children aged 13 and 15 at Pagok village in Jonglei State on Saturday. All victims are from one family.

Police said the mother and her children came under attack while footing on a feeder road heading to Cha-Akau village after leaving Bor town.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Mayen is the Commissioner of Police. He said the mother of the abducted children was freed unharmed.

General Joseph says the slain infant’s body was found by the local youth who were following abductors a few hours later after children were kidnapped.

“the criminals live in the bushes, and they do have their coordinated plan of what to do, there are only a few villages that people live, but these criminals do disturb, they can ambush the people. The youth do patrol around. Women are vulnerable, older people are vulnerable, and children are vulnerable too. So, the youth shouldn’t allow women to move alone in the bushes.”

Child abductions and cattle raiding among Jonglei neighboring communities rose during the dry seasons for years. Several peace initiatives conducted did not end the kidnapping and cattle raiding activities in the area.

According to the Police, no suspect being arrested so far. Authority in Bor claimed the attackers are believed to be from Pibor Administrative Area, an allegation that couldn’t independently be verified.

In July last year, South Sudan’s Vice President James Wani Igga was tasked to mediate peace among Jonglei communities. He promised that the government had taken decisive decisions to restore security.

VP Igga appealed to community leaders to support the government’s effort for peace and stability, emphasizing that peace is necessary for development and prosperity.

Animal disease outbreak killed livestock in Awerial. 

The cattle keepers in Lakes state’s Awerial County has expressed concern about losing their livestock following the outbreak of an animal disease known as East Coast Fever.

Deng Think is a cattle keeper in the area said has lost 15 cows and several animals from other community members dead of disease confirmed to be East Coast Fever at various villages, including Mingkaman. 

East Coast Fever is a lethal disease of cattle caused by the blood parasite and transmitted by the Brown Ear Tick.

He stated that cattle started showing signs of sickness in December, and the treatment they have administered to save the life of animals did not work better.

According to the cattle owner, the disease’s symptom includes cow to develop a high fever, nose mucus, loss of appetite.

Deng claimed to have lost a cow worth 400,000 SSP, and he appeals to veterinarians and partners to provide a sustainable drug that can treat the disease. It’s unclear how many cattle dead so far.

 ” I don’t really know what can help. We have been trying to treat them with the available drugs for animals, but it’s not working. We don’t understand why doctors are not bringing drugs for this disease.” Deng stated.

Director of the Animal department in Awerial County, James Chuti, has confirmed that fifteen cows have died so far and expects the number to go higher.

He urges pastoralists to keep animals free of ticks to minimize disease transmission through blood parasites as local authorities prepare their response.

“We have got the information about this disease and my office has received at least 15 cows death recorded but I did not yet get some data from many villages which host larger number of cows. so far, we are planning to see alternative ways to save the livestock life because the entire,e communities depend on cattle and if disease wipe them out, it can be a disaster to them” He said.

The veterinary expert said the vaccination campaign launched in November last year didn’t covered all areas due to the vaccine shortage.

James assured cattle owners that his office coordinates with the State head office to provide medicine that cures East Coast Fever.

 

Awerial county official says they lack funds to addresses water crisis in Bunagok

Bunagok residents face extreme water shortages, with over two thousand people sharing two water hand pumps.

Some of the residences who spoke to Mingkaman 100 FM say they spend many hours in the queue to fetch water in the two working hand pumps.

Martha Alut is one of the residences in Bunagok Payam. She said people are walking from different villages to fetch water at Bunagok.

Ms. Alut had appealed to local county officials to rescue the situation and help fix the broken boreholes to ease the congestions and suffering.

She said they are now making tough choices between drinking and bathing. Adding that they go for days without bathing because it is not easy to get water at the hand pump.

She said the issue of water starts in August, but the situation is now worse because the pools which villages were using have dried. “clothes are dirty, and children don’t take a bath sometimes, this can cause sicknesses.” Said Martha.

Mr. Paul Chak is the head of the Awerial county water department in Lakes state. He said his office is aware of the dire water situation at Bunagok and other areas in the county. 

He said they are making every effort to fix the broken boreholes by early next year because they do not have spare parts that are needed.

He said the pump mechanic are idle because they do not have spares, and he can’t send them without spare parts to repair the boreholes.

He said that he is engaging with one of the partners who has promised to come in January to drill more boreholes and repair the damaged ones.

Hundreds of people fled villages over cattle raiding in Awerial

Hundreds of residents have fled Mayom, Pulawar, and Magok villages due to insecurity threats triggered by cattle raiding. People who were fleeing villages include women, children, and elderly people.
Three villages abandoned at Awerial County in Lakes State were bordering Tindelo and Tali of Terekeka County which they alleged the source of the displacement.
The community blamed Mundari and Aliab for creating tension. IDPs were temporarily settled in Mingkaman without aid assistant.
Athieng Aguot Nyanyith is a resident of Pulawar village. She ran away from her home for safety mentioning an alarm of being attack by cattle raiders in the neighboring Terekeka County.
“I came here after our cattle were raided by arms men last week inside Tindelo, we decided to come back to the village and it was insecure because people fear as tension is still very high and there is no protection there. That is why I come, closure to the government for my protection.”
One of the IDP Ayak Thuc said the village is not a safe place because the cattle raiding incident sparks tension between two neighboring communities.
She explained armed youth are taking the laws into their own hands, which need government intervention to hold perpetrators accountable.
Ayak appealed to Awerial and Terekeka County authorities to provide protection to civilians in both counties as cattle raiders terrorize rural communities.
“We don’t sleep at night since our people killed and dozens of cows taken; there are rumors of attack in our village. We decided to leave the area because there is no policy that can protect us. Two ladies were even killed when attackers were raiding our cows.”
Awerial County Executive Director James Manoah has confirmed the mass displacement instigated by growing anxiety at villages bordering Tindelo.
He said the two governments of Awerial and Terekeka Counties are working to control the situation.
“We heard about the displacement and both County’s government including Terekeka are working so hard on security issues because Mandari and Aliab are good neighbors for years. They had inter-marriages, and they have a lot of common relationships and friendships. We shall report these displaced residents to IDPs” Manoah stressed.
Last week, seven people were killed that include one woman and one girl. And several heads of cattle were believed to have been raided at Baping cattle camp by the suspected group in Tindelo areas.

Students’ Demands Handwashing Services amid COVID-19

The primary eight candidates in Padaar Comboni School are demanding handwashing materials installation.  Inaccessibility of health prevention materials that include facemask, soaps, and sanitizers for disinfection has caused anxiety among the candidates.

The students were concerned about the possibility of contracting coronavirus due to the unavailability of health facilities. Students claimed they are attending classes without handwashing that include visitors coming to school.

Seventy-five students who were said coming from different areas are attending classes in one classroom without respecting social distancing.

In September, the national ministry of education ordered the reopening of schools and enforced general hygiene and safety rules to be observed.

“In our School St. Daniel Comboni, we are lacking hand washing containers that will protect us from contracting Covid-19. We also lack benches, and sharing the few we had is against current health guidelines regarding coronavirus preventions,”

“We wanted social distance to be put in place by ensuring that enough benches are provided. Education partners and school administration should take our concerns seriously,’’

School headmaster Isaac Garang admitted challenges. He said his office is engaging education partners to provide the school with COVID-19 equipment. In contrast, he urged the Primary eight candidates to be patient as the school administration finds alternative solutions to address an issue.

“Our benches are still in Rumbek because floodwater has cut off the road linking Rumbek and Yirol. Now learners do come with their chairs during teaching hours”  

Education official said the institution lack support from its partners “So, the school is lacking benches. There is no assistance from Education partners operating here. The candidates are seventy-five, and if we divided them into two classes, there are no teachers to teach them. So that is the challenge facing us in our school,’’

A National NGO known as Charity Empowerment Foundation distributed handwashing containers to twelve schools in Lakes State in September.

Lakes State dismisses the report of killing in Mayath.

 Lakes State authorities has denied report of five people killed at Mayath payam in Cueibet over the weekend. Some media reported that five traders were killed, and 75 cows raided in the area on Saturday.

Zachariah Mameber Thokagor is the secretary general of Cueibet County in Lakes state. He said the report of five people killed is not accurate. 

He told  Mingakaman FM, in Awerial that cattle traders were ambushed at Mayath, which resulted into 75 cattle looted and one of the herder injured.

Mamer said they are searching for the suspects to bring them to book and recover the looted cattle. 

“The report of people killed is not true. No one died. only one person was injured, five cows killed in crossfire, and 76 cows raided” said Mamer 

One of the traders who fell in the ambush Goi Ghai Goi also said none of his colleagues  killed during the attack.

Goi said one of his colleague who was  injured is now receiving treatment in the hospital in Rumbek.

Adding the other four members are now in  Cueibet to follow up on the raided cattle.

He said they were moving as a team of traders from different states that include Jonglei, Lakes, and Warrap plus government soldiers who were escorting us, but no one is dead in the incident, “said Goi.

Many traders use the road from Wau to Juba for a better market to sell their cattle.

One hundred recovered cattle return to owners in Yirol

The community leaders in Yirol West County have returned over one hundred-headed of cattle to owners. According to the police, the cattle were raided in Rumbek East on Thursday by suspected cattle rustlers.

Authority said the recovered livestock had been given back to rightful owners on Sunday, two days after the raiding incident occurred. The raided cattle were traced through youth and community chiefs at Aluak Luak Payam in Lakes State.

Chairperson of Peace Committee in Greater Yirol Hon. Chol Kuotwel argued that handing over recovered cows to the owners would pave the way for a lasting peace among the neighboring communities.

The first time raided cattle were legally given back to rightful owners peaceful in Lakes State following years of inter-communal violence over cattle rustling.

“We want the community to cooperate with the government when your cows are stolen.  Come to the government to solve the problem, don’t take laws into your own hands.  Don’t go for revenge raiding; come directly to the government.  It will follow your rights from suspected criminals and give it to you without the coursing problem. So stop revenging. This is the form of cooperation we want to stop revenge.  Let the government apply laws and orders to eliminate crimes in the State,” Chol said.

One of the cattle owner Majok Thuc who has received his 29 cows being raided, applauded the initiative. He explained his cow was raided during grazing time. Simultaneously, calling the government and the community members to end cattle raiding and revenge killing.

“It surprised me to recover the raided cattle in Lakes State,” Thuc said.

He Stated that many cattle raided and never been returned to the rightful owners.  “My cattle have been raided three times, but this third raiding, my cows were returned. I’m happy and appreciated the State government for bringing back my cattle.  This is a tremendous surprise to the community of Rumbek East County.”

Another pastoralist said he has received forty cattle but still seven cows are missing.

Mangon Dut Madol commended the effort of Community leaders who said it will promote permanent peace among the neighboring clans in Lakes State.

“Government is still searching for the missing cows and am feeling secured here with community leaders they are working hands in hands with the government to maintain peace between two neighboring communities. The government has promised me to bring seven missing cows once trace out”.

Manyang Ater who has also got his 20 cows returned expressed readiness to support the committee on the search for rustlers

Traditional leaders of Apaak have done a great job with the entire community at Aluak-Luak to trace out looted cattle. Their leaders assure us to bring back the missing cows am now waiting for my two cows to be returned from the suspected criminals” Ater stated.

Last week suspected group from Yirol West raided over 200 cattle in neighboring Rumbek East County.

Governor warns prisons for unlawfully releasing inmates in Yirol

The governor of Lakes State has warned the Prison Services unit for letting prisoners free without a due process. Governor Makur Kulang angrily spoke after receiving a report of two released inmates who were mysteriously murdered  in Yirol town.

Governor Makur threatened to punish prison wardens over the illegal release without proper court orders. He further cautioned that some of the released criminals were found guilty of crimes involving loss of lives making them dangerous to the community. Their illegal releases may turn as a “blame of the government.”

The state governor also revealed that one escaped prisoner was found dead in Yirol town. The assailant was not identified. It further said the deceased had got involved in a fight that left four people dead and two other wounded at Nyang Payam of Yirol East County last week.

The local prisons authority promised to investigate the reason behind the increased illegal bailouts before inmates’ prison terms expired.

“I don’t want you to release the suspects with a murder case. It must stop! If the prisons release the people with major crimes, that is not lawful. We want to bring an end to the communal violence in Lakes State through the law.”

The prison director of prisons, Elijah Biar, admitted that some inmates easily escaped due to inadequate detention facilities. He claimed that the inmates also bribed their way out. The director said his administration would take disciplinary measures against officers on duty during the escape of prisoners and assured the citizens of a speedy solution to this menace.

“We are not going to allow any bailout at all because we have seen challenges now. Then the people with the major crime cases will go to Rumbek or other States with good facilities. Our prison is impoverished, and that is the reason some inmates do run-away,” Biar said.

Young girl rape by multiple men survive in Yirol.

A 14 years girl raped at Yali village on Tuesday 22nd, has been admitted in Yirol hospital due to severe physical and internal injuries. The medical doctor reported that the victim was sexually assaulted by four men while returning home after fetching water nearby community borehole 7 pm at

Yali village, outskirts of Yirol East County. Authority believed perpetrators who were involved in sexual assaults of the teenager were allegedly under alcohol influence.

The medical doctor who was treating the victim assured the public that a teenager had been rescued with blood transfusion, and her conditions are improving”.

County Health Director Michel Makuei Ijoung confirmed that rape survival is getting stable compared to two days back. The rape victim has lost more blood as a resulted after too much bleeding.

“In fact, from the very beginning is severe, she came with very severe bleeding and till she was donated blood when she runs out blood. So she was donated blood, and up to now, she ok. She no longer bleeding like before. She got rap at some distance with where she was living. Now she needs no referral because she ok.”

Acting Police Inspector Andrew Maguar Deng said two suspects accused of raping the young had been arrested, and two others were still running.

Police explained they would keep the two suspects in custody before they are taken to court after a thorough investigation.

“Yes, the police are following up those people, they escape one person is gone to settle village near here, and another is not heard of where he is about. Rap happened last year, and this is another surprise, one girl with four men, so we will deal with them after we detain all of them.”

Police stated that rape is one of the major crime is punishable by the laws. He appeals to young people to cease from committing rape in the Country.

In June this year, an older woman was rushed to the reproductive clinic in Mingkaman after a young man sexually assaulted her at night. And she was treated with similar severe injuries.