By Akol Madut Ngong
The Transitional Government of Jonglei State has accused an army commander belonging to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) for instigating the recent communal clashes that claimed lives in the State.
In a press statement issued by the office of the Governor of Jonglei State, Denay Jock Chagor as seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the State Gov’t condemned the recent incident of communal violence between the two communities of Gawaar and Nyirol counties in Jonglei State.
The Jonglei State government has claimed that clashes which took place earlier this month between Gawaar Youth and their Nyirol counterparts that left at least 13 people dead were instigated by a senior opposition commander belonging to the main armed opposition, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday the minister of information and communication of Jonglei State, John Samuel Manyuon confirmed the press release.
In the statement, the SPLA-IO commander General Simon Diang Duoth sent Gawaar armed youth to go and attack areas in Nyirol County with the intention to loot cattle and kill innocent civilians, resulting in the looting of at least 2000 herds of cattle.
“On June 9th 2022 in the early morning at 7:00am South Sudan local time, armed Gawaar youth under General Diang Duoth from areas of Mogok and Pagil of Ayod County attacked Pulturuk Payam, Nyirol County. The attack left thirteen people dead from both sides (Nine from Gawaar youth and four including a woman from Nyirol County,” partly read a statement from the Governor’s office.
“The attackers looted and vandalized the Pulturuk town, markets and WFP warehouses and also went away with over two thousand (2000) cattle and the youth of Nyirol County are still in pursuit and no updates on the recovery up to today afternoon (Sunday). This attack has also caused massive displacement of the people of Pulturuk Payam,” the minister said in the statement.
“This unfortunate and barbaric attack was being instigated and masterminded by SPLA-IO Gen. Simon Diang Duoth who stationed himself in Mogok and has not been cooperating with the Commissioner of Ayod County over what is reported to be on the issue of the County resources. The General has recruited these youth to cause havocs and conflict between Gawaar and Lou Nuer which the State Government of Jonglei will not allow,” the statement added.
While condemning the alleged attack, the Jonglei state senior government official urged the leadership of the main armed opposition SPLA-IO to relocate the opposition General to any cantonment site in order for peace to prevail in the state and that his transfer will help the State and County authorities find amicable solutions to these communal misunderstanding.
“We condemned this incident in the strongest term possible and call on the Leadership of SPLM/A-IO to call to Juba Gen. Simon Diang Duoth or take him to any other cantonment site of the army. By doing so, the State leadership, County leadership and local communities of Gawaar and Lou Nuer will find an amicable solution to conflict and existing tensions created by Gen. Diang Duoth,” the statement further stated.
The State Governor, Denay Jock Chagor was said to have instructed the two County Commissioners to work hard with the Chiefs, elders, youth leaders and Church leaders to calm down the situation and call on the two communities of Ayod and Nyirol Counties to desist from any continuous attack or mobilization to attack and give the government a chance to peacefully settle the matter.
“It is therefore, very unfortunate to see our people dying in this period where they are to live in Peace, Love and Harmony. We share our sympathy and condolences to the families who lost their loved ones on both and wishing the wounded a quick recovery” it further consoled
Meanwhile when contacted by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the Press Secretary in the Office of the First Vice President, and Deputy Director of Information and Public Relation for the SPLM-IO Puok Both Baluang declined to comment on the accusation saying, “it is still not the right time to make a comment on the matter”.