National, News

Civil society condemns Tambura violence

By Bida Elly David


A group of civil society organizations in Western Equatoria State has condemned the ongoing insecurity in the state and demanded urgent measures to curb the situation.

In a statement seen by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the Network for Civil Society Organizations (NeCSOs) in Western Equatoria State described the current situation as very tense.

“We, the CSOs, are aware of the serious human rights abuses happening in Tambura, Ezo, and Nagero counties; these include kidnapping, targeted and revenge killing, burning of houses, and displacement in these counties,” the statement partly read.

The activists reported the killing of the governor’s bodyguard on March 21 on his way to Tombura and a trader on April 4, 2024, travelling from Tombura to Yambio between Mungu River and Moso for a business trip.

Not only that, the human rights defenders also reported the kidnapping of a police officer on April 21, 2024, while travelling to Source Yubu in Western Equatoria State.

A brutal night attack against three sub-chiefs and the vandalizing of other houses on April 25, 2024, were also reported.

“The sub-chiefs were attacked at night and burned, while one sub-chief sustained injuries within Tombura and the outskirts of Tombura town (Dingimo and Nabiama areas),’’ the statement further disclosed.

On the same note, civil society activists reported tragic attacks against clerics during a pilgrimage trip.

The group stated that on April 27, 2024, Father Luke Yugue, a Catholic priest from Maringido in the Tombura-Yambio diocese, and his driver, Mr. Michael Gbeko, were kidnapped on their way from Nagero to Tombura, and their whereabouts remain unknown.

According to them, the house of the Ezo County police inspector was raided on the 28th of April, and his daughter was shot dead.

They described the brutal incidents as the worst tragedy that had ever been witnessed in the area before.

CSOs have now called on both conflicting parties in the state to immediately cease the war for the restoration of amnesty and the return of displaced civilians.

“Our message to the armed group from the two parties is that they must cease hostilities and revenge and seek peaceful and legal resolution to their differences,” the NeCSOs urged.

Furthermore, they demand the immediate release of the missing Catholic priest and his driver.

They also cautioned the Azande and Balanda communities against pointing fingers at one another.

Nevertheless, the activists called on the parties to the agreement in the state to commit to the implementation of the revitalized agreement.

“We are calling upon the national government to immediately remove all armed groups in greater Tombura and Yambio to the training site in Maridi as one of the greatest moves to bring peace to Tambura,” the group echoed.

They called on the citizens of greater Tombura and Western Equatoria at large—to be specific, the law enforcement agencies—to bring perpetrators to justice.



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