By Ngor Deng Matem
The head of SSPDF Third Infantry Division based in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state has increased the deployment of forces along the borderline with Sudan following persistent attacks there, according to the area commander.
The move comes after suspicious reports of Misseriya armed men who are trying to disturb neighbouring communities with Sudan along the Kiir River.
From February to April of every year, Misseriya pastoralists enter South Sudan especially in Aweil, Warrap and Abyei territories in search of pastures and water, but this year, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state government prevented them from entering following the attack in Yinh Pabol in January 2022.
General Akuei Ajou Ajou is the Head of Third Division and currently stationed in Aneet following the recent violence between Twic and Abyei. Akuei said the Misseriya who attacked Abyei last week have been firing bullets into air as they return to Merrem, and this forces the civilians along the border in the areas of Aweil East to panic since yesterday.
“It was Misseriya armed men who left Abyei firing in air on their return to Merrem, Sudan and that is what caused the fear in Mathiang Lac village yesterday, Monday morning.
“After we received the information about the sound of the gunshots, I sent Colonel Chok Yai with forces to Mathiang Lac. And this morning (Tuesday), I spoke with him and said that there was no attack. It was only the Misseriya armed men returning from Abyei to Merrem firing in air” Akuei said.
“We are monitoring the security situation along the borderline from Abyei upto Raja sides. Our forces are in their defensive positions and people have to be cooperative with our soldiers by providing information for security concerns” General Akuei added.
On Monday, state government confirmed the attack in Aweil East County by suspected Misseriya militia but declined to give the details.
In January 2022, Misseriya attacked Yinh Pabol area leaving many people dead and houses burnt.
The government later temporarily closed the Aweil-Merrem Road until peace comes is achieved.