Senior SPLM-IO official among civilians killed in Leer violence: official
A leading member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) in Unity State is among the civilians killed in Leer County last week, a local official said.
Things got worse over the past week with numerous villages south of Leer town being looted and burnt. These latest violent attacks launched by armed groups suspected to be from neighbouring communities have displaced people.
Tor Tungwar, the Deputy Governor of Unity State, Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday that the deputy chairperson of the SPLM-IO in the state, Mr. James Gatjang Jail Dok, was killed together with an unidentified number of civilians while trying to flee the violence.
"The Deputy Chair of SPLM-IO in Unity State was killed together with many other civilians by armed forces led by the commissioners of Mayendit and Koch counties," Tungwar claimed.
Tungwar, who is also the SPLM-IO chairperson in Unity State, said the number of casualties due to the clashes has not been established. “We don't have any information about casualties up to now because we are still in Leer town,” he added.
The senior state official calls on humanitarian agencies operating in the country to intervene with emergency help to the people displaced.
Meanwhile, Leer County Police Commissioner Colonel George Koang Gattang said: “We don't have any information about the number of casualties up to now because we are still in Leer town. We don't have a report but there are casualties and raping of girls and women.”
He appeals to NGOs to provide humanitarian assistance to the conflict-displaced families in the area.
For his part, the Director of Health in Leer County, Thak Chan, said that the plight of the displaced is deeply worrying, as many families lack food and water.
The local health official said they had received more than 30 people who sustained critical injuries and were transferred to Bentiu for treatment.
Regular services and humanitarian assistance in Leer have been disrupted because aid workers were recently evacuated for their own safety.
On Monday, the United Nations said its peacekeepers had stepped up patrols and were engaging with communities to restore calm and stability in Leer.