Death toll rises to 13 amid Jonglei attacks

Pastoralist in grazing scope/Courtesy photo

By Bida Elly David

The death toll of people following Wednesday’s attack in Duk county of Jonglei State has risen to 13 leaving others in critical condition and requiring immediate health response.

Earlier this week, tension among cattle raiders over cattle transpired in Duk county of Jonglei State leaving locals in dilemma by the intensified insecurity creating fear and threats to the population and the surrounding.

The commissioner and the leadership of the county tried to ensure a calm environment but the raiders seemed not to follow suit and declined physical confrontation but rather proceeded with looting.

Speaking to the media yesterday, John Chatem, the Commissioner of Duk county of Jonglei State said that among those who killed were two children aged one and eight years.

He added that the fierce fighting left five wounded as the domiciles and the sufferers of the looting made several efforts to recover their looted livestock.

“When the attack transpired on Wednesday, a number of 13 people were murdered following five others injured but the number is uncertain and the locals are still expelling the attackers and have not yet made their return. Among the 13 deaths, there is a one-year-old child and another eight-year-old child as well as nine young men.  Two elderly people were victims among the death toll,” John said.

Furthermore, the commissioner said that despite making efforts to bring the conflicting herders on talks, the cumulative calls were underestimated leading to the current intensification of the violence in the county.

“My office and the community leaders have been making several efforts to try to bring the fighters on board to dialogue but our call was not accepted that is why the attackers are still continuing with their operations. They have now created fear and threats to the host communities. People are now panicking since the security situation has never been normal since Wednesday,” John said.

He urged the citizens to be calm since they are working hard to ensure that peace among cattle herders prevails and it is still being prioritised.

“I call on the cattle raiders to kindly respect themselves. If one wants cattle, there is need to purchase and raise rather than looting what does not belong to you,” he said.

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