By Taban Henry
The community in Lobonok yesterday raised an alarm after two people were killed and one abducted by suspected cattle herders believed to have been from Jonglei on the 16th of May 2022, as the country celebrated Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Day.
Earlier this week, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army celebrated its 39th anniversary with events across South Sudan, celebrating the formation of the former rebel movement in Sudan, which is now the South Sudanese army-on 16th May 1983.
Speaking to the media in a joint press conference on Thursday, the Chairperson of Lobonok Development Association, Cirisio Lege Zakaria has raised an alarm after two people met their death and a boy of 8 years abducted by the marauding well-armed cattle herders from the neighboring Jonglei State on the 16th of May 2022.
“We are hereby extending our profound heartfelt condolences to the affected families and the community of Lo’bonok for the losses suffered during the attack, as the SPLM Day, the day we ought to celebrate the sacrifice by our gallant men and women who paid the price for our independence through their lives,” Cirisio said.
Cirisio said that the slain were 35 years and 60 years old respectively and 8 year old child abducted from Nyarjuwa village in Lo’bonok of Central Equatoria State.
“We condemn the heinous and barbaric attacks in the strongest terms possible and appeal to concerned authorities to take stern action to ensure perpetrators are brought to book, this is a call to all of us, the people of this great nation, that we need to ensure a just society where everyone finds peace within our borders,” he added.
Cirisio called on all the cattle herders in Lo’bonok to evacuate the area citing that they do not want to see death again in the area, deaths whose reasons are not known.
He added that over 200 households have been displaced and are sheltering in Gumbo and are in dire humanitarian situation that needs urgent support.
“We the community and the church tried our best to offer some support to the internally displaced persons in Gumbo. We would not have any problem if the cattle could not have damage our farms,” he added.
“In the last two weeks, two people have been wounded and they are currently undergoing treatment in Juba on the same note on the 16th of May this year, two people have succumbed to death and 8 year old boy abducted. Two days ago one person has been wounded by the cattle keepers. We therefore do not want the cattle herders in Lobonok. They should immediately leave to leave our people in peace,” he explained.
SPLA day is a public holiday in the country. It is the day when the second civil war commenced in the then Sudan, and continued for 21 years, leading to the dead of over 2 million people and millions displaced, and then eventually led to the independence of South Sudan.
John Garang, who had been dispatched by the army leadership to quell the new rebellion, joined the mutineers and became the leader of the SPLA movement until his death in 2005 after he had signed a peace agreement with the Khartoum government in the same year.