Easter Equatoria State, News

Security traces killers of 7 gold miners

By Charles K Mark


Security forces in Kapoeta South County, Eastern Equatoria State, are pursuing a group of armed attackers who killed seven people on Friday, last week.

Commissioner of Kapoeta South, Lominit Angelo, confirmed that the Friday incident happened in an area called Lorobala in Namorunyang village.

He reported that on the fateful day, the community members were on a hustle, looking for their daily survival, by carrying out gold mining.

“First, there were five people who were short on sport; among the five were three women. One woman was pregnant and almost to deliver, so we count the woman and the child as two, which makes them six,” he stated.

He said that one other victim succumbed to bullet injury while on treat at health facility.

“The other three who were badly injured and taken to the hospital. One of them died, making the number seven (7),” Commissioner Lominit continued.

According to the County commissioner, the attack victims while using traditional methods to sieve gold along the riverbeds, were caught off-guard with bullets.

Speaking to No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, on Sunday, Kapoeta Municipal Council mayor, Lokuda Elia Lonya alleged that the footsteps of the attackers, when tracked, were ditching towards Ngauro in Budi County.

“You know, the Toposa are neighboring the Didinga community, and these people have been having issues with cattle rustling,” he expressed.

Lokuda claimed it is now the fourth incident in the same location where people have lost their lives while trying to look for gold.

“Their brothers suspected to be from the Didinga neighboring community have killed them now for the fourth time,” the mayor said.

He added that the total number of victims including a wife of a former chief from Lopala Boma of Namorunyang Payam has reached 10 in the same location.

The mayor stated that appeals have been made for whoever can help the authorities in Budi County, especially in Ngauro, apprehend perpetrators of the barbaric acts.

Ngauro is a town inhabited largely by the Didinga ethnic community in Budi County within the Greater Kapoeta.

The two communities (Toposa and Didinga) are said to have been at loggerheads with each other for a long time, causing atrocities and animosities to their own people.

The Toposa are from the other side of Namorunyang, bordering the Didinga, where the latest incident occurred and caused the deaths of the mentioned number of people.

The same two communities are known of cattle thefts and raids through which quite often, civilian end up as shields during the clashes.

The mayor seemed to have apportioned blame on citizens who go to deeper ends which boundaries have got no security deployment.

“They live in the bushes, in the interior, and we cannot provide security to every single location,” the mayor explained.

Lokuda called for tranquility, and harmonious coexistence amongst the indigenous communities of Greater Kapoeta, (the Didinga, the Boya, and the Toposa).

The incident reportedly occurred when leaders of the three groups, including the governor Louise Lobong Lojore, were for a peace dialogue where they resolved to regain the lost glory of the former Greater Kapoeta in which they lived without bloodshed.

Mayor Lokuda said Unified Forces have been deployed to Greater Kapoeta and that they will be able to deal with such incidents when they occur.

“I would want to appeal to the people of Greater Kapoeta and to Eastern Equatoria as a whole, and to a larger extent, the people of South Sudan that it is a high time that we realized that we will not develop when we have internal problems, when we are killing ourselves,” he urged.





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