Unknown gunmen kill 18 in Mayom County

By Adia Jildo

Authorities in Mayom County of Unity State have registered 18 locals killed by unknown armed youths believed to have come from Tonj.

The Executive Director of Mayom County, Gatdet Gany said that the suspected armed youths are the raiders who are moving with the aim of raiding cattle from the village.

He said that, the people were travelling to Akop to their relatives in Chenyigwe, and some of the civilians from Tonj thought they had come to raid cattle.

Gatdet also said that the armed youth were not soldiers but civilians who armed themselves because of suspicion of the migrators. 

“Out of the 11 men, 9 were killed at first leaving two alive. One ran from the place of the incident up to Mayom and up to now; he is unable to talk but has been taken to hospital. We don’t know where the other one is now. He is nowhere to be seen,” he said.

Gatdet said that 9 other members from Chenyigwe were also killed during the fight.

He added that the suspect of the murder incident has not yet been arrested till now.

“Those children, women and the old man should be brought home via Wau, Kwachok and we shall meet them at Nyakwach so that we can hand them over to their relatives,” Executive Director for Mayom County Gadet said.

He called on the youths to refrain from conflicts and unite as they are all South Sudanese stating that such tragedies do not portray a country with peace.

“Let us in South Sudan have free movement, not to have a place to fear and we should be confident when moving from one place to another,” he said.

Children, women and the elderly who were migrating are now left at the borders of Akop.

He called on the government to disarm civilians because the current conflicts between civilians happen due to presence of arms.

“Guns in the arms of civilians are not the dream we want for our country, at least guns should be disarmed for civilians to be in stability. Let the government disarm all armed civilians in all the states. Let the guns remain in the hands of the government and not in the hands of civilians,” he said.

However, the commissioner of Mayom County James Chuol said the incident that happened was due to mistrust between the two groups as the youth of Tonj had wanted a letter that showed they were passing through to the next village or had gone to purchase cattle from their village.

The security has not yet arrested criminals of the incident to identify real reasons behind the brutal killing.

“I asked them what happened but the security did not respond. They told me that there was no government. The police, soldiers were not there and that’s why this reached to this extend,” the Commissioner said.

Chuol called on the government to form a committee to investigate the incident that happened and its root causes.

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