December 21, 2012 (BOR) - Four people were killed and three others wounded in Jonglei State’s Twice East County following a cattle raid on Mission cattle camp in Kongoor Payam on Wednesday 19, Sudan Tribune has just learned.
Three of the dead were cattle raiders and one was a civilian cattle herder. Three men from South Sudan’s armed forces were wounded.
According to Twice East county commissioner, Dau Akoi Jurkuch, who spoke to Sudan Tribune from his base in Panyagoor on Thursday, the attack came as a result of an ambush laid by Murle armed men when cattle were almost returning to their pens at 6:00pm local time.
He said 1,533 cattle were taken by the raiders in the deadly attack, after which they hid in the west side of the County before waiting for night to cross to the east with the cattle back into Murle territory in Pibor County.
The Commissioner said Twice East County’s organized forces - consisting of police, wildlife and prison services - laid an ambush at Pading, where the raiders often cross back into Pibor with stolen cattle during the night.
“Our forces did a very job, they managed to return all the cattle”, said Dau.
Dau claimed that four cattle were killed in the crossfire during the fighting between the raiders and the organised forces.
The three soldiers who were wounded were shot by a Murle raider who had sustained an injury and was hiding. This raider "was later killed”, Dau added.
He said the raiders were in military uniforms, indicating that they could have belonged to David Yauyau’s militia, who are fighting the government in Pibor County.
He said the United Nation Mission in South Sudan delegates who toured Duk, and Ayod spent two days with him at Panyagoor, had witnessed the bodies of the raiders who were killed on the same day the team left for Bor.
“The team of UNMISS left Panyagoor the same day the fighting took place, they had seen the bodies and confirmed that they were really from [the] Murle”.
He said a similar attack occurred at Kiir Adhiok cattle camp where close to 2,225 heads of cattle were raided on Wednesday 19 December, but were returned by the County’s joint forces. No causalities were reported.
Dau called on government forces to remain alert and to beef-up security around the borders of his county to protect civilians as they are preparing to celebrate Christmas.