Central Equatoria State, National, News

Rebel abductions threaten Yei River County

By Bosco Bush

 

Authorities and residents of Yei River County have reported a concerning increase in abductions, raising security alerts in the area.

The abductions are believed to be carried out by members of the National Salvation Front (NAS) rebel group.

On the evening of Thursday, July 4, 2024, there were reports of random shootings around the areas of Dam, Lutaya, and within the Yei municipality.

Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa, the Commissioner of Yei River County, confirmed to the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that the random shooting was linked to an attempted abduction of residents by individuals believed to be NAS rebels.

“There was an abduction attempt at 8:15 pm from these armed men of National Salvation Front and then they had an encounter with SSPDF that’s why the shooting happened in the areas of Dam, Yei Town. But after being pursued by the SSPDF it was calm towards the morning,” Kanyikwa said.

However, he added that there were no casualties in the incident.

Residents of Yei have reported incidents of abductions taking place in the town.

Mr. James, a resident of the Dam area, who spoke to this outlet on condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal reported that on Thursday, a group of armed men approached a shop in Dam, firing bullets and causing the shopkeeper to flee for his safety at around 7 pm.

“At 7 pm a guy with a shop in Dam Center shows a group of armed men approaching his place. Then he decided to quickly close the shop, after which they started shooting and chasing the guy.”

“Then at around 9 pm, the army (SSPDF) also started shooting randomly in town. But people did not ran away from their homes because it was night,” James narrated.

He further recalled that, a few days ago before the Thursday night shooting, two people were abducted around Hai Tarawa in Yei town and on the outskirts of Minyori and Logo villages.

“Even the day before yesterday, two guys were picked (abducted) at that side of Hai Tarawa at night. This abduction issue also happened in Minyori and Logo where people were taken,” he stated.

Yei River County is one of the areas in South Sudan that were engulfed by the 2016 conflict which claimed lives and left many people displaced as refugees and IDPs.

With the signing and implementation of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement, relatively calm has returned to the area.

However, there are still reports of counterinsurgencies by the NAS forces who are still fighting with the Government.

 

 

 

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