By Mamer Abraham
At least 80 people have been killed since January 2023, in series of intercommunal violence and cattle raids between Jonglei and Pibor Administrative Area.
National Minister of Interior, Angelina Teny disclosed Parliament, on Tuesday.
Angelina told MPs that out of 56 children abducted in Jonglei State, only 8 were recovered, while 12 women who have also been abducted are never recovered.
The minister indicated in her report that 3,750 cattle were raided, with only 1,500 recovered.
According to the minister, three traders were also killed in Pibor following an attack by armed youth. The trader sought safety at the SSPDF base but unfortunately the armed youth pursued and removed them from the military base and were killed.
“Traders traveling from Bor to Pibor, after reaching Pibor town, armed youth from Murle attacked them, but they reported themselves to the CMI and SSPDF General Headquarters in Pibor. Unfortunately, the armed youth broke into the premises and killed those traders. One South Sudanese national and two Sudanese nationals the investigation is ongoing,” Angelina explained.
She said a commissioner of Pochalla was also killed, and investigations into all the crimes were underway.
Angelina told the legislators that cases of abduction are persisting and overwhelming the security.
“Issues of abduction are very difficult to handle because of the challenges facing the police and law enforcement agencies, including the other security agencies that usually support the police in carrying out its mandate,” she hinted.
The interior minister called for disarmament, provision of adequate logistical support, and a proper communication network.
She further underlined the lack of proper courts as well as poor road networks for the security organs to successfully execute their duties.
Meanwhile, the chief administrator of Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), Lokole Amee, also told parliament that there were a number of women and children abducted from his area by youth from Jonglei State but were not recovered as well.
He argued that the best solution to cattle raiding and abduction of women and children was disarmament, deployment of forces, and establishment of a buffer zone,.
The chief administrator added that the armed youth could outnumber the forces that are available in the area.
For his part, the governor of Jonglei State, Denay Jock Chagor, who was also summoned to Parliament, said that governments in the two areas had tried all the possible means of ending attacks and abduction through dialogue, but all had failed.
He urged the national government to intervene by devising a lasting solution to the problem that has existed between Jonglei and GPAA for years.
The minister for parliamentary affairs, Mary Nawai, however, called for collaboration between the governor of Jonglei State and the chief administrator of GPAA to identify criminals in their respective areas and ensure justice takes its course.
After deliberations, the parliament resolved the need for a dialogue to ensure that the abducted children are returned and the culprits are held accountable for their actions.
It also resolved that the forces should be deployed, disarmament carried out, and a road network provided to facilitate the movement of security personnel, as well as build the capacity of forces already stationed in the two areas.
In September, Jonglei State’s minister for information, Elizabeth Nyadak, reported that suspected Murle youth had attacked and abducted five returnees at a place called Puot-Puotni in Akobo County, Jonglei State.
Nyadak complained that the criminals in question lacked sympathy for the suffering South Sudanese returnees and had dire consequences for peace and harmony between Jonglei State and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
The state Jonglei government called for the intervention of the national government and international peace monitors to curb such human trafficking-related crimes.