National, News

Fear grips, homes deserted as thousand flee Tombura over violence

By Charles K Mark


People continue to run to UN Protection of Civilian Camps, Schools, and Health Centers for safety due to fear of raging communal violence in Tombura County, Western Equatoria State.

A youth leader, Oliver Abdalla describes the scenario as tainted with continued abductions since the unrest ensued five days ago.

“The county authority is silent,” he pointed.

According to Abdallah, the surge is a result of postponement of a peace conference, meant to bring two rival communities (the Azande and the Balanda) together for peace.

“The County Authority is not doing anything. People are dying, but the County Authority is just quiet; the commissioner cannot say anything, and he cannot even raise it as a concern,” Abdalla said.

The youth leader confirmed that two people so far have been killed in the unverified conflict, increasing tensions in the county that once witnessed similar communal clashes in 2021.

Meanwhile, Tombura County Commissioner, Matthew Mabenge confirming the unrest, claims some elements in the SPLM-IO” are responsible for the worrying situation.

There were also reports of abduction of a police officer and a Catholic priest for unknown reasons, and their whereabouts and fate remain unknown. But unconfirmed reports emerge that they might have been murdered.

The commissioner said most IO forces who refused to report to the cantonment area are loitering in the county and causing chaos.

Mabenge, however, said the county authority is planning to arrest the situation by using force to stabilize security.

“We are going to stabilize the situation because we are going to use force now. Whoever causes trouble will be arrested by our forces,” he echoed.

The Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio in Western Equatoria State expressed grave concern over the reoccurrence of violence in Tombura on Saturday and issued a call for the national government’s intervention on the matter.

Diocesean Bishop Barani Edwardo Hiboro Kusala asked President Salva Kiir to declare a state of emergency and rein over the crisis tearing the communities of Tombura County apart.





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