By Mamer Abraham
A South Sudanese family has frantically searched for a twelve-year-old girl who went missing three days ago from Mengo Estate, Kampala, Uganda.
Ngong Makuel Awolic, a close relative, identified the missing girl as Nyanchiek Malual (picture above).
According to Ngong, the girl had been missing since Saturday after leaving home early in the morning without informing her maternal uncle’s wife, Ayee Everlyn.
“Nyanachiek left the house on Saturday morning while people were still sleeping and never returned. We tried to ask Ayee, her maternal uncle’s wife, but she could not give us satisfactory information,” Ngong explained.
According to him, Nyanachiek, who hails from the Aliab section of Dinka ethnicity in Lakes State, was not angry with anyone, but her friends said she had warned that she would leave the house if she could get a chance of doing so.
Ngong said that the case was reported to the police on Monday, but they did not get back to the family on how far they had gone with the search and investigations.
The family members call for assistance from anyone who might know the whereabouts of the young girl, to report either to the family or the nearby police station.
However, when No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper inquired South Sudan Ambassador to Uganda, Simon Juach Deng Juach, he said the Embassy was not aware of the case.
He stressed that the Embassy had a police attaché and other relevant officials who could help in the matter.
“No. We are not aware. But I will forward it to my Consular Affairs officer to follow up,” said the Ambassador.
He wondered why South Sudanese in Kampala acted as if they were not aware of the fact that they should report such matters to the Embassy for them to be assisted.
“We have a police attaché and diplomats to help with such cases, but it seems our people require time to know they should report such matters to the embassy,” he added.
In June, the Head of the Child and Protection Unit of the Kampala Metropolitan Police, Caroline Kushemererwa told the media that most of the cases of missing children involved girls between the ages of 9 and 15.
She noted that the police received at least 10 cases of children reported missing every week, adding that most of the cases were of mistreatment of children by relatives who lured them to live with them as maids with a promise of employment.
Kushemererwa said the police would be forced to charge parents for neglecting their children when they are reunited with them.
The issue of missing South Sudanese in Uganda can raise concerns due to related cases that initially ended in sadness.
In 2020, a South Sudanese refugee woman identified as Mary Naka who went missing in the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in Uganda’s Yumbe district was reported dead by the Ugandan Police.
Moses Olang, the Yumbe District Police Commander, told Radio Tamazuj that the woman was murdered by an unknown person, as Naka’s corpse was later found decomposing in the bush.
“Nobody knew where she was, and nobody reported to us that she was missing. The body of Naka, which was decomposing, was found in the bush on December 27, 2020,” Olang said.
The Yumbe district police commander said the police had launched an investigation, but no arrest had been made regarding the matter.