News, Warrap

Abducted Twic women freed

By Deng Athian


Three women from Twic County, Warrap State, abducted by armed youth from neighboring Abyei have been released by their captives.

On January 14, 2024, three women were abducted in the Anyiel Kuac area of Twic County, Warrap State, by suspected Abyei armed youth, and a young man was killed in the same incident.

Twic County Commissioner Simon Aguek Chan told the No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that three women were found fishing in a nearby swamp when they got kidnapped on Sunday; fortunately, they were freed.

“We received the women back after a day of the abduction. We appreciate the initiative the abductors took because the women are innocent,” Chan said.

According to him, the attackers had ambushed the villagers, who were fishing for their survival.

“Those who were fishing were not far from their homes, and suddenly they were surprised by the sound of gunshots. The women were taken while the young man was shot dead,” he narrated the ordeals.

The commission said the abductors shot the one man at the scene, took the phone of the deceased, and started calling every contact on the phone to demand the ransom of SSP1.5 million in order to release the women.

“When I heard of the information, I informed the higher authorities, including the governor of Warrap State and National Security, to help in follow-up to make sure that the women abducted should be freed without conditions,” the commissioner continued.

He clarified that the abduction of the women at the fishing site has nothing to do with the conflict between Twic Mayardit and Abyei, which is all about the land issue.

No. 1 Citizen Newspaper spoke to the women after their release, and they thanked the captors for sparing their lives.

“They took us throughout the bush while running; they could beat us when we felt too exhausted to run. We ran together until we reached areas near Juljok,’’ one woman narrated.

“We are innocent; God has saved our lives. So, I thank Almighty God for helping and protecting us. Another woman prayed.

“It is true that if God has not approved your death, no matter what situation you are in, God can make you overcome the situation,” she continued.

Meanwhile, the third woman appealed to the government to guarantee peace so that the suffering that involves death, abduction, and destroying people’s property would stop.

Abyei and Twic communities have social connections and had lived as one community for decades until early 2022 when the fight over the land claims of Aneet Market tore the two communities apart.

Amidst heightening tension and deadly violence, President Salva Kiir formed a fact-finding investigation committee and tasked the Vice President for Service Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, to lead the team.

A ceasefire agreement was then signed in Aweil, the capital of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State, but in a few weeks both conflicting communities violated the ceasefire agreement.

Another committee from the Council of States was formed to investigate the causes surrounding the conflict.

In their finding, the committee established that the conflict was being incited by senior politicians and military leaders from the two communities.

On January 11, 2024, South Sudan President Salva Kiir called the Governors of Greater Bahr El Ghazal, Governor of Unity State, and two chief administrators of Abyei and Ruweng areas in Juba to discuss the possible ways to end the communal violence.

In that meeting, it was recommended that security forces be deployed in areas where there are conflicts to ensure the free movement of goods and people.


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