Ten feared dead in boat’s ambush near Juba

By Emelda Siama John

Ten people have been reported killed and one survived when unknown gunmen attacked a boat along the River Nile in between Gondokoro and Mangalla area around 4pm on Wednesday 22nd of February 2023 according to MPs.

The ambushed boat was reportedly transporting commercial items from Juba to Adok-port; when it came under attack by unknown gunmen killing almost all 11 people onboard except the only survivor that escaped.

The Chairperson of the specialized committee of Federal Affairs-at the national parliament (TNLA), Malek Cook Dwach, along with Leer parliamentarians confirmed the incident to the media in a press conference yesterday.

They urged the government and all the security apparatus to ensure maximum protection for the lives of citizens in the Country.

“We the representatives of Leer people have learnt the shocking news of the ambushed boat that happened on 22nd in Gondokoro River bank where eleven people were ambushed, ten were killed one survived. We condemn this, I don’t want brutal deed, and we are calling on the government of National Unity to protect the lives and the properties of the civilians,” Cook said.  

The deputy chairperson of the Committee of Mining at assembly, Badit Dak Wieh, said the boat was hired by one of the International Organizations carrying their consignment heading to Panyijar County and Adok-port.

He said the boat started sailing from Gabat around 2pm unfortunately it got stacked by riverside because of shallow waters, when the criminals launched the attack.

“Once that incident happened, those criminals came and asked for assistance, and it was given to them by the passengers after they were given money and other items, they went and came back in few minutes, and started shooting all the passengers in the boat, of which only one survived, and ten were killed,” Dak explained the incident.

He stated that it was the first incident that happened in 2023, where people of Leer lost their lives, and again it happened proximately to the capital city of Juba.

“We are appealing to the National Government and all the security organs to look for those illegitimate (criminals) and bring them to book in responsible manner so that they will take it cost, this cannot happen while the Government is watching and we the people in the sedative are around and see that on yearly bases our people keep dying in this manner,” he said.

He stated that the President made it perfectly that, this year is a year of peace; saying when people go anywhere, there should be peace, and peace must be given a chance.

“We stand with people of Leer, those who lost their lives in our community should be given a time to bury the remains of the victims, but their bodies were not yet brought, and they don’t know whether some of them were government or local, but we have just hard that seven bodies were recovered,” he said.

However, another MP, Riaw Gatlier Gai called on the Government especially security apparatus to apprehend the criminals so that they can be brought to book.

“There are illegal checkpoints along the River Nile, starting from Gondokoro up to Upper Nile, those illegal checkpoints should be cleared out, dismantle by establishing special operation to clear them and the Government should establish escort for River Transport, because it’s the life of civilians and their properties including business people for their persistence in those states,” he said.

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