January 13, 2012 (BOR) - At least 55 are reported dead, 52 injured and 40 children abducted in Wek and Patuet payams [districts] following a retaliatory attack launched by youth of the Murle ethnic group on Wednesday, according to local MP Moses Gatkuoth.
- Injured children from Wek village, Uror county, January 12, 2012
The Uror MP in Jonglei state’s assembly, who visited the area on Thursday, told Sudan Tribune in Bor that nine men, 25 women and 21 children were killed and 21,930 heads of cattle were stolen in the villages of Wek, Panyok, Pamai and Warkei by a group of 500 members of the Murle ethnic group.
Gatkuoth told Sudan Tribune that attackers included defectors from the South Sudanese army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) verified, he claimed, by eyewitness accounts from Wek.
The Paramount chief of Wek payam, identified as Jany, was killed with two of his body guards in the fighting after they tried to defend their village from attackers, according to Gatkuoth.
40 children have been abducted by raiders and more children and women are still missing according to the commissioner of Uror, Simon Duol, in Bor.
The Pibor county commissioner, Joshua Konyi, said that conflict between the ethnic groups in Jonglei has left over 3,000 dead; a figure described as baseless by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), Hilde Johnson.
Eyewitnesses who visited the area on Thursday said many of the children were wounded by spears and machetes.
Many of the young men from the Luo Nuer are reported to be still returning to their areas after they left for Pibor for retaliatory attacks when violence occurred in Tiam and Patuet payams, said Gatkuoth.
Gatkuoth cited the killing of former chief, Isaac Ruot Lam, as the source of the attack launched by Lou-Nuer as the source of the ongoing conflict.
The UN estimates 60,000 people have been displaced by the current Jonglei conflict.
Duol said Friday that the Government of South Sudan and humanitarian agencies to send in humanitarian relief and troops to maintain security in the area.
MP of Nyirol county in Jonglei assembly, Khorhok Gar, has also condemned the attacks.
RESIDENTS FLEE PAYUEL DISTRICT OF DUK COUNTY
Vulnerable residents of Payuel Payam [district] in Duk County of South Sudan’s Jonglei State, have fled the area as five were killed in what an official described as a "heavy attack" on 5 January.
Duk County administrator, Dak Wichuoth, told Sudan Tribune that Duk is regularly attacked by the Murle ethnic group, who he says loot cattle and abduct children.
“Some people have gone and others are prepared and ready to move”, said Wichuoth. “How can I stop them when I have no power to protect them and food to eat”.
Wichuoth said that his district had lost five men and around 1,500 heads of cattle in the Murle attacks, which he says began on 5 January.
When Sudan Tribune visited the area many people were seen preparing at Patuenoi to leave in a group to Padiet, Poktap and Bor town which they consider as safe from attack.
Ayen Aleer, a women at Patuenoi village of Duk County told Sudan Tribune that people are fleeing the area because the government is not responding to their request for protection and food aid.
The Commissioner, Elija Mochnom, told his people at Payuel that he had requested for food and troops for Pajut, Payuel, Poktap and Patuenoi villages through the UN and South Sudan government.