SUDAN WATCH: S. Sudan: Twic East County, Jonglei Cattle Raid, 6 killed, 9 wounded in 'suspected militia' attack by Nuer?

Monday, August 03, 2009

S. Sudan: Twic East County, Jonglei Cattle Raid, 6 killed, 9 wounded in 'suspected militia' attack by Nuer?

On Friday, Sudan Tribune reported that suspected militia were involved in an attack in Twic East County where five civilians are killed and 9 others injured. The article, copied here further below, has attracted many comments.  A report here below from New Sudan Vision suggests that as the style of fighting the attackers used is like that of Nuer, the suspects are Nuer.

From Sudan Radio Service, Friday 31 July 2009:
Six Killed and Nine Wounded in Jonglei Cattle Raid
(Khartoum) – At least six people have been killed and nine others wounded by cattle raiders in Twic East County in Jonglei state.

This comes just a month after a peace conference was held in the state at which community leaders pledged to put a stop to cattle raiding and the killing of civilians.

Speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Bor on Friday, the deputy governor of Jonglei state, Hussein Mar, explained what happened.

[Hussein Mar]: “Raiders attacked a village in Twic East County two days ago. They came in the night, they went into one of the “Luaks” and they stole a cow. The following morning, the local people, twenty of them, wanted to follow the people who raided their village. They went and fell into an ambush by the raiders. In that ambush, six people were killed, nine were wounded and five others were unharmed. The Uror county commissioner said the culprits are not from Uror because they can not pass Duk which is in between. But we told them that these days criminals can go anywhere. But we left it open because we don’t want to defend who actually did the crime. As a government we condemn this and we can not tolerate it."

Hussein Mar said that this is the second incident after the May peace conference was held. The first incident occurred in Duk East County. Cattle were raided and one person was killed.

Hussein said civilians are causing these crimes because they still possess arms illegally but he said plans to disarm them are underway.
From and written by The New Sudan Vision, Wednesday, 29 July 2009:
Five die in Twich East County attack--UPDATED
(WANGULEI)--The number of people killed in yesterday's Twich East County attack, especially on the side of Wanglei, has reduced to five people after one Dachuek youth member who was presumed dead was found to have crawled away from the scene of the fighting after he was wounded.

The number of Dachuek youth who fell into the ambush of the attackers was nineteen. Five were killed and nine wounded, leaving only five unharmed. Those five people were the ones who evacuated the eight wounded people from the scene of ambush.

During the night of July 29, 2009, Dachuek youth from far away cattle camps joined those who were waiting for day break to figure out what to do with the attackers. The youth then launched a major attack on the attackers on the morning of July 30, 2009. The attackers decided not to fight back for long time this time. They fled and were still being chased by the time this report was written.

There are still no confirmed casualties from the attackers’ side.

Although the identity of the attackers remains unclear, expert civilians in both Nuer and Murle fighting said that the style of fighting the attackers used is like that of Nuer. "Murle does not camp before attacking a place. Murle also does not defend one place for two days unless they have cattle in their possession." Therefore, according to these civilian experts, the suspects are Nuer.

There is also a report coming from Wernyol payam of Twich East County and Duk County that the attackers attacked these two areas at the same time they attacked Wanglei area. No casualties have yet been reported from Wernyol and Duk attacks.

Both Jonglei State government and the Government of South Sudan are yet to comment about what role the army should play in the attack of civilians by other civilians.
From Sudan Tribune by Philip Thon Aleu, Friday 31 July 2009 04:30:
Jonglei mark Martyrs Day as 5 people die in ’suspected militia’ attack
July 30, 2009 (BOR TOWN) – Celebrations to mark Sudan’s Martyrs in Jonglei state are marred with "suspended militia" attack in Twic East County where five civilians are killed and 9 others injured, officials say.

S. Sudan: Six Killed and Nine Wounded in Jonglei Cattle Raid

Organized forces march at Bor Town Freedom Square on Thursday July 30. (By Philip Thon Aleu -ST)

Clashes erupted Wednesday between Twic East cattle keeping youths and "heavily armed" gunmen from Lou Nuer areas at Nyaken, east Nyuak Payam, when a heifer stolen at Baping was found and rescuers entered in an ambush.

There is no confirmation from Lou Nuer authorities and Uror in particular which borders Duk County that youths headed for raiding at Greater Bor territory. Deputy Governor Hussein Mar Nyuot condemned the killing at the celebration of Sudan’s Martyrs Day here today saying: "Those people have no reason to die."

At Tuesday/Wednesday night in Baping village, armed men – speaking Nuer language took a heifer while holding residents at gun point, said Commissioner Diing Akol Diing from Panyangor on phone.

"On Wednesday morning, Nyuak youths followed the direction of raiders only to fall into an ambush in Nyaken – a cattle camp deserted long ago," Mr. Akol said.

"We are suspecting them [attackers] to be militia because they are more than 200… and heavily armed," he further said.

The situation remains tense but fighting had stopped by press time after the alleged raiders from Lou Nuer defeated Nyuak youths. "There are rumors going on around that all cattle camps" [in Twic East] are under raiders threats," he said when asked to speak about the security situation at the time.

The dead – all civilians, are from Twic East side, Commissioner Diing Akol told Sudan Tribune by phone from Panyagor – the headquarters of Twic East County.

There is also "periodic raiding" in neighboring Duk County, Mr. Akol further stated without accusing a particular group of raiders.

Cattle rustling is a common activity in South Sudan among pastorals communities carried out by men who refused to join organized armed forces following 2005 peace. Jonglei , inhabited substantially by pastoralists, among other Southern states, is gravely affected by raiding usually between tribes.

Past efforts to disarm civil population have not materialized and South Sudan authorities have pledged new approach this year. Politicians are always at the core of tribal wrangles because civilians obtain new riffle and ammunition with less difficulty.

Speaking at a rally to mark Sudan’s Martyrs Day at Bor Town Freedom Square on Thursday, Deputy Gov. Mar attacked unspecified politicians of inciting tribal conflicts.

"The politicians start it [tribal conflict] and innocent people suffer," he said in Arabic.

However, local clashes in South Sudan are not limited to ethnic diversity. 38 people are hospitalized in Bor Civil hospital following Tuesday fight among Kolnyang Boma youths, Bor County. Though modern riffles were not used, some of the victims, of the wooded-made-sticks war over sentimental marital differences, are in critical conditions.

Meanwhile, celebration to mark the Martyrs’ Day went on peacefully in the state capital on Thursday with attendance of organized forces, schools, churches and town residents.

Jonglei Speaker Jodi Boyoris, Bor County Commissioner Maker Lual Kuol, State ministers Agot Alier of health, Gabriel Gai Riam of Parliamentary affairs, Timothy Taban Jouch of Information and communication, Mach Malual the commissioner of headquarters among others attended the tremendous ceremony.

South Sudan citizens observe today Martyrs day to commemorate the people who lost their lives during the civil war with the north. In year 2007, the President of the Government of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, declared July 30th an annual public holiday in south Sudan to commemorate the memorial of SPLM/A leader, Dr. John Garang, who died in a plane crash in the south in 2005 and other deaths from war and related circumstances.

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) have lost about eighty thousand fighters during the North-South civil war, while about two million civilians have died during the war and its following repercussions.

The State chiefs spoke at length for the half-day event held in heavy sunshine of Bor on possibility to cease tribal conflicts and open new phase of liberation once led by their own son Dr. John Garang de Mabior.

Developmental prosperity and peaceful coexistence are sorts of ’new phases of liberation’ sought by local leaders. A role model state – as Jonglei is always referred to, influences southern politics and stability of the region.

Deputy Gov. Mar told the diminishing gathering scared by strong sun heat, that investment in agriculture has been observed keenly by state leadership. He announced offering of vast open land in the east of Bor County and shared by many Counties to American agriculturalist for farming.

Mr. Mar says efforts to disarm civil population as stipulated by the Government of Southern Sudan are "highly welcome by Jonglei State" to get rid of illegal small and light weapons.

A workshop held on Saturday July 25, 2009 by Small and Light Weapons group , a local association, claims that civilians are "waiting when the government will collect guns" which are more destructive at families’ level.

A 2006 disarmament exercise turned violent in Lou Nuer killing hundreds of people including south Sudan army soldiers, the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA). (ST)
See many comments at this article.

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