Over 6,000 IDPs on the verge of starving

By Taban Henry

Over 6,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled from Mugali due to the ongoing attacks by the cattle herders are on the verge of starving due to scarcity of food.

The IDPs are sheltering at Christ Church compound in Anzara boma in Nimule; Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria state after the cattle herders invaded their homes last week.

Ebelle John Alex, the Chief of Anzara Boma confirmed to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Wednesday that the IDPs sheltering in Anzara were on the brink of starving due to shortage of food.

“The IDPs are becoming more vulnerable. There is no food and shelter. Generally, the situation is worsening. Children are starving and becoming malnourished and now one week after their arrival, there is no intervention yet,” he said.

Ebelle added that the children are the most affected and that they are likely to suffer from lots of diseases like cholera and malaria in the displaced person’s camp.  

He is calling for more assistance because of the increasing influx of the population that is fleeing to Magwi with the most vulnerable being children.

“No intervention has been made but we have only received some 60 bags of flour from a national NGO for women but the assistance is not enough. We need more assistance. This food assistance was given on Sunday, but now the children do not have what to eat,” he said.

John called upon the government and humanitarian agencies to save the already dire situation before it escalates.

“I am calling on the state government to intervene and the humanitarian organizations too; in terms of providing food assistance and shelter,” he added.

John is calling upon the people of South Sudan, particularly the people of Eastern Equatoria to unite and stop these archaic acts of intimidation and harassment so that the people of this country can live in peace since many are returning home.

“Here in the borders, our people are now coming back from the camps so once such things happen; they will have no interest of coming back into the country,” Ebelle pleaded.

He also confirmed that around 10 people are still missing with a probability of them having been killed because they still have inadequate information about this.

John stated that more than six thousand people have been registered so far since they fled into Magwi for safety.

“We have registered 1,068 households and 6,384 people and more are still coming. Yesterday, we received some numbers. This morning we are still registering maybe they will reach to 2,000 households today,” John said.

Meanwhile the commissioner of Magwi County, David Otto Remson said that the government has sent security personnel to check out what is happening in the area of Mugali.

He revealed that the state government was not aware of the invasion of the cattle herders into Magwi citing that the chiefs were also not aware and that was exactly what happened in the areas of Agoro, Nyolo and Abara and is now happening in Mugali too.

Otto complained of the herders ill behaviour of molesting women and girls and having their own way of doing things and always getting away with it.

“They give their own order and really have to say those are criminals who are disturbing and raping of women and girls that this has caused the people to evacuate the area of Mugali because they fear as they shoot guns at random although we are the government, when we go there, we find them already quiet,” he said.

Otto stated that the state is trying their best to improve the security in the community although the security situation is still in jeopardy.

Last week, cattle rustlers attacked a kraal in Jellei area of Nimule payam and killed 4 cattle herders. The cattle herders then regrouped and followed the raiders and clashed with them in the Achwa and Owinykibul areas leading to the death of more than three people from both sides before the cattle were recovered.

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