By Bida Elly David
At least 19 people including former Commissioner of Apuk North County were purportedly killed over the weekend after SSPDF soldiers who were conducting cattle recovery operations clashed with armed youth in Tonj, North of Warrap State.
The incident followed inter-communal violence between cattle herders that transpired last week leaving number of people dead, scores injured and hundreds displaced.
Last week, a group of armed youth from the two-community clashed over cattle which resulted to the dead of dozen and several wounded, beside displacement of many from their homes.
The incident caused serious insecurity as residents left their homes with fear to seek for a tentative safe environment for refuge.
The reportedly remained tense since the start of the incident to date as looting and attacks by both sides still continued without any compromise or dialogue from both sides despite government’s intervention to mitigate the situation.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Riing Deng Ading, the information Minister of Warrap Stated that upon intervention of the government to culminate the situation through recovery of the looted livestock, group of armed youth from one of the conflicting sides turned in exchange of bullets with the government forces leaving number of officials dead.
“We have been working towards restoration of the looted cattle by the conflicted parties in order to culminate the situation after over 100 livestock were looted by armed youth on Thursday last week. After the exercise was carried, success over recovery of some cattle was done but it was very unfortunate that we were attacked by the armed youth in our base,’’ he said.
The Commissioner told the media that the crooks emerged from Akop and headed to Aliek Payam with immediate looting of over 105 heads of cattle accompanied by the murder of the officials.
“We lost Kuol Agok the former commissioner of Apuk North County and some SSPDF Generals such as Akech Ciman Paac, Santino Kuot Kuotdit among many others,” he said.
Riing however said they have deployed more armed forces to ensure that peace prevailed in the State and citizens resumed their normal duties as usual.
“Operations in search of the perpetrators is still on-going until we bring them into books to ensure that dialogue among them is carried,” he underlined.
However, the report did not clarify in detail the segment of people killed in the due cost of the inter-communal violence recently.