July 12, 2014 (RUMBEK) – The Rumbek North commissioner in South Sudan’s Lakes state survived an ambush on Thursday carried out by unknown gunmen.
- The map of Lakes state in red
Commissioner Marial Machar Aweckoc reportedly escaped unhurt, while Makur Kucdit Dhor, the county head of the criminal investigation department (CID) sustained injuries during the attack.
Lakes state information minister condemned the shooting, urging civilians to cooperate with the state government, despite existing differences.
“The ambush happened at Buoi village near the former military prison at Longcok. The CID officer Makur Kucdit Dhor sustained a gunshot wound after inserted efforts to protect the commissioner from the attackers,” said Marik Nanga Marik.
“In the process of exchanging fire with attackers, Makur was shot at his left leg and now being admitted in Rumbek hospital and commissioner had hardly escaped the attackers in safety,” he added.
A youth, who preferred anonymity, claimed the attack was to prevent the commissioner from witnessing president Salva Kiir’s planned visit to state capital, Rumbek on Sunday.
“We are tied of this state government’s attitude. They abuse, threaten, beat us and even take away our cows. They also use hate speech on their Radio FM 98, abusing our personality and arrest us,” he said from an unknown location.
He questioned why Kiir was silent on calls for removal of the caretaker governor, Matur Chut Dhuol, saying “We will remove him by all means”.
Pastoralists youths also resolved not to attend the president’s event, but said only six of its members would be sent to listen to his speech.
The public in Lakes state refused to share any information related to security with security agent as many try to isolate the state government in order to frustrate Dhuol’s administration efforts.
Youth activists and traditional authorities have repeatedly called for the removal of governor Dhuol amid claims he has failed to stem the violence. President Kiir has so far overlooked these calls.
Lakes state’s Dinka youth also refused to join military forces recruited to fight against the rebels led by former vice president Riek Machar who are mainly from the Nuer ethnic group, leading to increased tensions with the state and central government in Juba.
Fighting between the government and rebels has killed thousands and displaced over a million people.