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JUBA/JONGLEI - 11 Jun 2020

Armed youth moving from Jonglei to attack Pibor: officials

Judi Jonglei, the speaker of the defunct Boma state assembly said he had received reports that armed groups from Bor and Fangak areas in Jonglei State were moving towards the Greater Pibor Administrative Area with intentions to launch attacks.

Since December 2019, there has been an escalating cycle of violence in Jonglei involving the Dinka, Nuer and Murle communities.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday, Judi Jonglei claimed armed youth were on their way to Murle areas and the local authorities are yet to know the motive of their movement.

“Armed youth from Bor and Fangak are on their way to Pibor areas. We don't know if they are going to kill people or kidnap children,” he said.

The politician further said he notified the national government of the planned attack. "Of course, there are no state governments and so we cannot blame anyone,” he stressed.

David Ngiro, the foreign relations secretary for Murle youth union said “armed youth from Bor and Fangak” have already arrived in Manyabol and clashed with local youth.

"There are two groups; the first group has arrived in Manyabol and the rest are from Lou Nuer. They are on their way to attack Pibor,”he said.

Ngiro accused politicians of fomenting conflicts between communities in Greater Jonglei and appealed to the unity government to urgently intervene.

Joseph Mayen Akoon, the Jonglei State police commissioner confirmed reports about the movements of armed youth with intentions to attack Pibor. "If there are armed youth from Jonglei who went to Pibor area, we cannot deny,” Akoon added.

The senior police officer said the presence of guns in the hands of civilians in the Greater Jonglei state has worsened the security situation in the region.

On Tuesday, the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said escalating intercommunal clashes are causing immense harm to civilians and risk pulling organized armed groups into conflicts that could unravel the country’s peace agreement.

Also, the members of the ‘Troika’ — the United Kingdom, United States, and Norway — said the vacuum created by the lack of governance has exacerbated cycles of intercommunal violence in Jonglei.