Kenyan denied the accusation of attacking civilians in Nadapal

Authority of Kapoeta in Eastern Equatoria state has accused Kenya forces of undiplomatic harassment of civilians at the border of Nadapal.

Souring undiplomatic tension occurred after Kenyan forces being seen violating regional boundary, attacking South Sudan forces, and raided 47 goats, according to Kapoeta East County Commissioner.

Commissioner of Kapoeta East County Abdullah Angelo Lokeno says Kenya’s force launched a provocative attack after Kenyan authority purported that South Sudanese have stolen their “iron sheet,” making them attacking SSPDF military barrack.

State government investigation confirmed that Kenya Police Reserved was considered as people behind lingering attacks. 

“The problem, our brothers from Kenya, accused our civilians that they are stealing iron sheets yesterday at 2:00 PM according to their information. But from our side of South Sudan, there is nothing like that. They shot at our barrack, opening fire. They get out from their barrack and come up to near our barrack”. 

Border dispute remains a significant factor of conflict at Nadapal between South Sudanese and Kenyan authorities. Kenya forces were alleged of killing civilians and grabbing some land in South Sudan’s territory.

Lokichoggio administrator (ACC), who identified himself as Omono, disputed his forces offensive to South Sudan territory.

He acknowledged the border incident but branded it as a “minor case his officers at the border only tried scared the kids who attempted to steal government property at the border.”

Mr. Omono uses a counter-attack by accusing the South Sudanese military of testing their weapons towards Kenya, but the matter was resolved, and their highway is safe.

“The report I have is that there was an incident of vandalism last night. Some kids came to steal Kenyan government property at the border, and they were scared away by our officers”.

“Another report I have is an incident where the South Sudanese military tested some of their weapons; they shot them facing the Kenyan side and flew right inside Kenya. When we realized that there is that firing towards our side, we contacted the military commander of the other side, and he gave clarification, and we resolved the matter.”

Toposa communities of South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State and the Turkana in neighboring Kenya were involved in a prolonged conflict caused by cattle raids and disputes over water sources.

Committee formed to investigate Lowareng and camp 15 attacks

The Eastern Equatoria state has formed a committee to investigate the Lowarneg attacks and the camp 15 incidences.

Committee formed comprise of six members led by the state minister of local government in Eastern Equatoria state.

Lowareng, a cantonment site for the SPLM-IO in Kapoeta, was attacked on the 22nd of last month, leaving five deaths.

In a separate incident, 15 people were killed at camp 15 in Loriyok Payam by an unknown group which caused insecurity threats among residents.

People believe counter-attacks emerged due to revenge between the two communities of Katiko and Loriyok.

The press secretary in the governor’s office says the committee has been given seven days ultimate to submit the findings.

Aliandro Lotok explains investigation will help the government in arresting the suspects and held them accountable.

“We have six members, these highly respected men in our state. These are people with experience who will come and investigate these cases because we want to ascertain”.

Lotok said government must work to account the culprits “The government wants to determine what had gone wrong, why things are happening the way they happen. And to prove the damages coursed in these places. These are sad stories that we do not want to hear in this state, he warned”.

Mr. Lotok urged the communities, local leaders, and youth to cooperate with this committee to give information that can lead to the arrest of what he says barbaric act.

Security forces deployed in camp15’s Kopoeta area to restore peace

Eastern Equatoria State’s government has deployed security forces at camp 15 after a convoy for Governor Louise Lobong was ambushed by unknown shooters on Monday 29th.

According to officials, a joint security forces deployed comprised of Tiger division and national security service. The number of armies deployed in that insecurity zone was not made public.

Lobong’s convoy came under heavy attack after he visited Budi County to offer his condolence following the death of 15 people in the separate incident where their houses reportedly burned.

And two of his bodyguards were killed when unidentified armed men opened fire on the governor’s vehicles.

Press secretary in the governor’s office Aliandro Lotok narrated that security personnel deployed at camp15 will stay for some time until the security situation is calm.

“Some of the forces are now already here significantly enough forces. These forces are coming here to restore law and order on the breakdown of law and order at camp15. So this is what they have come for, so they will be here for some days.

So that at least normalcy returned to this area and then people of camp 15 who left this town yesterday had to return to their houses and settle. The town was deserted, but now with the presence of the force of the confidence being built, this is the forces from the tiger division and the national security, yeah,” Lotok explained.

Mr. Lotok said the situation is calm, but the deployed forces will continue patrolling the area for a number of days until the town returns to normal.

Eastern Equatoria’s governor is currently in Camp15 to monitor the situation before return to Torit.

Governor Lobong convoy attacked, left two people dead in camp15

Eastern Equatoria State governor’s office says two people are dead and three others wounded followed an attack on the governor’s convoy on Monday evening. Governor Louis Lobong was in convoy but was not hurt in the attack.

The incident happened at camp 15, about 40 kilometers South West of Kapoeta Town. Mr. Aliandro Lotok is the press secretary for the governor of Eastern Equatoria.

He said their convoy was attacked by local armed youth in 15 camp. He said that they were returning after the governor traveled from Torit to visit Camp 15 on Monday to address the bereaved families of 15 people killed on Sunday night.

Lotok said their way out of the area are blocked and have retreated to a military barrack, and the situation remain tense.
He said the incident did not shake governor Louis Lobong, and he is in good spirit as a military man. He explains that the two people who lost their lives include a wife of a soldier and one military personnel but provide no details if there are casualties on the attackers’ side.

Mr. Lotok said the fighting between soldiers and armed youth lasted 2 hours before they retreated to a military barrack.

Camp 15 is at Loriyok Payam in Budi County of Eastern Equatoria State.

Fifteen people killed in Budi attack

Over 15 people died, seven others were wounded, and houses burned in the Budi County attack on civilians. Casualties include women and children. The government condemned the killing of innocent people described as “criminality.”

The attack occurred on Sunday at Camp 15 in loriyok Payam, and the wounded person transfer to Chukudum hospital for treatment this morning.

Eastern Equatoria State Governor’s office said the attackers are well-armed, and their motives remain unclear but could not unidentified. 

Aliandro Lotok is a Press secretary of the Eastern Equatoria Governor. He stated that governor Luise Lobong visited the area where the incident occurred.

“We are here with the governor at camp15 and the governor has come here to pay condolence to the people who lost their loved ones at the attack that took place on the 28th of this month. So far, seventeen people have brutal this vicious attack and the governor condemns it in the strongest terms possible this attack on camp15”, He said.

The state governor directs the organs forces to search for the perpetrators.

Last week, gunmen attacked an SPLA-IO cantonment site in Kapoeta County, killing its commander and four others.

Refugees from Kakuma doubt peace in South Sudan

South Sudanese refugees in the Kakuma camp were shocked and panic with the Kenya government’s announcement to close the base giving only two weeks for the UN to implement the plan.

The UN refugee agency issued a statement this week confirmed the notification over the planned closure of Kakuma, Kalobeyei, and Dadaab refugee camps. The closure of the camps came due to fear of national security threats, the Kenya government stated.

The refugees expressed mixed reactions. Some doubted that South Sudan’s government did not fully implement the revitalized agreement to give hope for their returns.

Others urge the Kenyan government to reverse the decision-cited situation in their home’s countries not safe for repatriation.

Singaita FM in Kapoeta spokes to the camp chairperson, Sabina Achola, who said refugees have the right to seek safety

“It depends on the country’s situation. If the situation of our country becomes okay, then UNHCR will do that repatriation. Still, the situation South Sudan is in now, South Sudanese they will not be given repatriation because the country is not yet well”.

Another South Sudanese refugee is Emilio Moi, described the news as “abrupt closure and shock.”

He said South Sudanese want to hear free movement with total silencing of guns and economic stability. 

People were happy to come back to South Sudan but not completely happy because situation not okay in our country. We want the government to provide education for our children. We need to realize that the government is implementing peace to gives us hopes of returning.” 

South Sudan peace deal signed in 2018 detailed the needs for reconstruction and repatriation of refugees includes internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Five SPLA-IO soldiers killed; cantonment deserted in Eastern Equatoria

Sudan People Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) has reported that five of its soldiers were killed, houses burnt in Lowareng cantonment area on Monday.

Attackers described as “Unknown gunmen” who open fire on soldiers with motive remain unclear.

SPLA-IO deputy Military Spokesperson, who is also the Press Secretary for the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Col: Lam Paul Gabriel, said among those killed include Brigadier general and one woman.

He said attackers have not yet identified, but a committee from Joint Defense Board (JDB) will travel to the Cantonment site to investigate, and perpetrators will be accountable.

“Yesterday in the morning hours, we received a phone call from Kapoeta, and we got the information that the cantonment site of Lowareng was attacked. We lost about five soldiers include a woman and the commander of the Lowareng cantonment site”, Col: Lam said.

The military official claimed that delay in the graduation of the unified forces should not be used to attack a base of the forces to the peace agreement.

Lam said parties are making progress in reorganizing the forces for necessary graduation.

“The committee was given seven days to complete their task, which is going to do with the formation of all the reunification of the highest command,” Lam said.

Kapoeta South County Commissioner Angelo Lominit said his administration visited the scenes to get precise information. 

“We went to the ground at 2:00 pm, we got five people, including one woman dead. We got two houses burnt totally without anything. And the barrack deserted, nobody, even one person no! the criminals went no one arrested”

The Commissioner said this incident happened for the first time since SPLA.IO cantonment areas were established in Eastern Equatoria as part of a security arrangement according to the peace deal.

Several reports indicated the necessary unification forces deserting training camps due to the delay of their graduation. The Peace Monitors described the condition soldiers undergone as “unbearable” due to lack of food, shelters, and medicines.

Three child soldiers unified with parents in Torit

Three child soldiers were released from the SPLA -IO in Eastern Equatoria and reunited with their biological parents.

Catholic Relief Organization Caritas facilitated young combatants’ demobilization. Boys’ parents were airlifted by a WFP plane from Juba to Torit on Wednesday last week.

Children released include Hakim John Ojek, 18 years old, Stephen John Oting, 19 years old, and Albino Kampala Oting, 13 years old.

They joined the army at a young age in 2019 without the knowledge of their parents. UNICEF later identified them as child soldiers in military training camps.

It took the UN children’s agency two years, with the help of Caritas Torit and MTT, to trace and reunite the boys with their families.

Stephen John Oting, 19, sadly said he returned by force from the SPLA-IO training camp and had no desire to come back home. His disappointment ended up in tears.

Stephen expressed his release has no impact. He has nobody to support his education because all his parents were soldiers.

“I am not happy. I was brought by force, and I don’t even care about anybody. I went in 2019, and I went to be a soldier. When we went from here to the bush, we were then taken to Juba for training and graduation until UNICEF came and told us that they were taking us to school. They took us to another orphan school, but it never worked out.

“They then took us for training in mechanics, but that also failed. They wanted to bring us back home, but I said I did not want to return home and that you better take me back to the military barracks where you got me. So, they refused, that is why they brought me by force and am now seeing nothing good here, and I am going back,”

The former child soldier demanded to be enrolled in school to forget military life but said UNICEF failed them on the education front.

David Oria Keteto, the father to one of the reunited boys, expressed happiness and applauded the organization after receiving his son after many years.

“I have a child here. First of all, I want to thank you in the name of Jesus Christ. Thank you for handling my child in your hands until I get him in my front today. When he went from here, we don’t know how only that we heard a report about him that he is with UN in Juba. Today, I am very happy to receive my child. God bless you.”

Omal Augustine is a child protection officer at Caritas Torit, said his organization facilitated the return of children but did not have any direct support for their education. He promised they would keep monitoring children for some time to adapt to the new environment with their families.

The acting Director-General for gender and social Idwa Dominica appreciated the partners for reuniting the children with their families.

“I’m happy with the MTT organization, which was able to get these children in Juba. Big town, if you go to Juba, you will confuse; how would you have to get them. Juba is big mixed with many tribes. How were you going to get these children? In Eastern Equatoria here in which village until they reach the family.

So am also very happy with Caritas Torit, who can link with MTT until these children come here today. Caritas, this is the second time that I am receiving children that you did family tracing and reunification. This is now the second load of the children I am receiving in the ministry of gender and social welfare.”

She urged parents to take good care of their children, not develop problems, and escape home.

This is the second time Caritas Torit has facilitated the reunion of children and their parents, according to the acting director-general for gender and social development.

The Catholic relief organization Caritas is working in collaboration with UNICEF to facilitate the reunification process of lost children and soldiers.

Rapper sentenced to 40-year imprison in Kapeota

A High Court in Eastern Equatoria’s Kapoeta town has sentenced a 32-year-old man to jail.

The suspect, identified as Marko Lokigo, was founded guilty under the law for rapped teenagers and adults at Lotian village this year. The police authority arrested him in March after he founded rapping females at gunpoint.
The presided judge ruled the man spend 40 years imprisonment for the charges read out in the court.

Singaita FM spokes to the legal aid officer for steward women organization Labrick Lomoro Gabriel.

He said the court in Kapoeta has handed a landmark decision to sentence the rape convict 28 years for rape cases leveled against him, seven years for robbery, and five years are possessing illegal firearms.

The court official also ordered the convict to pay seven cows as compensation to the family of the rape victim per Toposa customary law.

The criminal is also expected to pay 500,000 ssp for damages incurred by the victims and 140,000 ssp for the beads and telephone robbed.

The legal aid provider said the mobile court has so far sentenced six other people with similar crimes. Lomoro described kapoeta as one of the zones with rampant rape incidences in Eastern Equatoria.

He stated that the government effort continues to apprehend rape perpetrators and face justice.

“Not just in Kapoeta but everywhere in South Sudan, rape incidences have been so rampant. The mobile court that has been in function for the last two weeks has so far tried six cases and all the accused have been awarded conviction to imprisonment”. 

The convict will be will transferred to Torit for reformatory school while serving their term imprisonment.

According to the Penal Code, 2008, whoever commits an offense of rape upon conviction shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

Four children killed and one wounded in Kapoeta North County.

Google Map of Kapoeta County EE, South Sudan

Local authority in Kapoeta North county said four children age 7 – 10  have been killed on Monday.

One child has survived and is receiving treatment in Kapoeta South county hospital. The incident happened at Riwoto Payam. in a village called Lokolibor approximately about 35kilometers from Kapoeta South. The teenagers were on their way home after they went to fetch water from a nearby river.

Prince Daniel is one of the nurse in Kapoeta hospital. He said the girl has suffered multiple stab wounds to her body, and is responding to the treatment.  The nurse says the girl needs to be referred to a better health facility for further treatment, “Unfortunately we receive a patient yesterday she was stabbed multiple times and now her condition is stable, we manage to stick some wounds and make some dressing.” He said that she was so lucky that one of the wounds did not penetrate to the chest.

Daniel said such kind of action must be prohibited and law must be enforced fully so that the perpetrators are punished for such killing.

Evariso Cheche is paramount chief in Kapoeta North County. He condemned the killing and called on the state government to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Chief Evariso alleged that the suspects, which he said brutally murdered four innocent kids, could have come from Kimotong area in Budi county. Saying the killing was a revenge attack. This allegation has not been independently verified by Singaita FM.

“Revenge killing cannot stop because there is no government or chief and community leader in the village to control the situation”. Said Chief Evariso

Police department in the Eastern Equatoria state declined to comment citing inappropriate information in their office.

There has been number of attack between the two communities Toposa and Buya which follow the killing of two women at Kimotong payam earlier this month.