National, News

Tension remains high in Pochalla

By Charles K Mark

Tension remains high in Pochalla County as armed youth continue to exchange gunshots with the government forces stationed there.

On Monday, Col. Joseph Okony Okwom Othow was killed in fierce fighting with armed youth.

Army spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang said the commander was killed on Sunday while attempting to attack the military base in Pochalla.


“He was the SSPDF Commander in that area, and then in May this year, he was replaced. He decided to not take up the new assignment. Instead of him remaining home quietly he decided to mobilize, to join forces with local youth, under his command,” Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, SSPDF spokesperson, said.

Heavy artilleries were heard by residents who were confined in their houses with no access to movement and filled with fear of being caught up as victims of crossfire.

General Lul explained that the whole situation has been boiling underground with demands from the citizens who have been demanding for own administrative area or be returned to Jonglei State or else be harnessed with Gambella region.

“There have been real disagreements on what the people of Pochalla want. Now we are maintaining our position, and we are not after the civilians but the criminals,” added the army spokesperson.

Acting Pochalla County Commissioner, Owety Olung, expressed concerns that the violence could escalate and cause more residents to flee.

One Pochalla citizen, John, called on the national government to intervene, citing heightened tensions and arbitrary arrests of civilians by SSPDF soldiers in the area.


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