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GOK MACHAR - 27 Mar 2013

Fire devastates Gok Machar market

Gok Machar market in Aweil North county of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal state suffered a devastating fire last week, resulting in no loss of life but creating substantial damage and loss to property and goods.

It it thought that a lady selling tea in the market was behind the fire after reportedly neglecting her cooking fire in a small grass thatched tukul.

According to the commissioner of Aweil North, Kuol Athuai, the woman has been arrested and an investigation is on-going.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj in an exclusive interview Athuai stated that,“the damages could be (worth) two billions and as a county commissioner I could not make any compensation but I could just offer advice to build mud houses rather than grass ones.”

Athuei claimed that they will file the report of the damages and present it to the state Chamber of Commerce in the hope that they might be able to offer some compensation to victims.

One survivor of the fire Ariath Akech who lost property called for support, adding “…if there is help, those whose property was damaged should be assisted and compensated.”

Gok Machar is currently enjoying increased trade and security following the demilitarisation of the disputed border region and re-opening of cross-border trading routes.