August 9, 2014 (RUMBEK) – Cases of looting and rape have intensified in Lakes state’s Rumbek East county following the killing of paramount chief Apareer Chut Dhuol by an unknown gunman on 5 August .
So far police have confirmed that 13 women, including a 12-year-old girl and two pregnant women, were raped in separate locations around Rumbek East county.
The rapes occurred in the Makuac and Panbarkou villages near the Malekagok area of the Thuyic sub-clan, who are accused of carrying out Dhuol’s killing.
Police suspect supporters of the late paramount chief from the Gonyi section are responsible for the attacks.
Supporters of the chief, who was the elder brother of Lakes state’s military caretaker governor, Matur Chut Dhuol, have also been accused of looting in the area.
Meanwhile, authorities have reportedly seized cows and goats belonging to the Thuyic section while a number of cows and goats have also been slaughtered by the army in Barnaam.
Lakes state’s minister of local government and law enforcement agency, Jok Ayom Majak, said that situation was now under control, although the claims were disputed by eyewitnesses in the area.
“[The] situation is very normal and police, including [the] army, are on high alert in all locations of their deployment within the suspected routes whereby revenge may occur,” said Majak.
On senior police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said that one of the pregnant women raped had miscarried as the result of the attack, while the other remained in a critical condition.
Lakes state activist Moses Majok described the deployment of joint troops as “unnecessary” and a “waste of energy”.
He claimed that supporters of the late chief had over-run large areas of the Thuyic clan.
Dhuol was gunned down in Pacong payam (district), about 20km from Rumbek Central county, in what is a suspected revenge killing for the death of late paramount chief Maker Mabor, who was murdered in 2002 by Dhuol’s son.
The culprit was later sentenced to death by firing squad, although this seems not to have appeased the late Mabor’s family.
In his first public comment’s since his brother’s death, the governor called for calm in Rumbek East, telling Radio FM-98 on Friday that he had instructed the army and police to remain in their deployment areas to quell down insecurity and prevent looting.
“If you respect me, please don’t revenge – don’t loot – allow me and the law to correct this messes,” he said.
“I don’t like anyone to take [the] law into his own hand. We are the government and we will take whatever step to bring the suspect person in front of [the] law,” he said.
Lakes state resident Majok Wetkuot Lual described the state as among the most unstable of South Sudan’s 10 states, citing Rumbek East, Cueibet, Rumbek Central and Rumbek North counties as the most dangerous regions in terms of political chaos, violence and lawlessness.
He said that the constant revenge attacks and cattle rustling continued to threaten peaceful coexistence among Lakes state’s diverse tribes.
PARAMOUNT CHIEFS TARGETED
Nine other traditional chiefs have been assassinated in Lakes state from 1987 to 2014, including five in Cueibet county and four in Rumbek East county.
Majok Derder was assassinated in Akot at Majok-nguek village in Rumbek East county in 1987.
Rilpuou Alambeny Goljok Mamer was unintentionally killed by his own cousins during fighting at the Aghar cattle camp in December 1995.
Michaek Manyuong Makoi Machuar was assassinated at the Aguet cattle camp in December 1995 in retaliation for Mamer’s death.
Daniel Ater Acuoth Akek was assassinated in his home village of Akur Dou in Cueibet county.
Mangok Majok Reech was assassinated in Cueibet county’s Abyeicok village.
Maker Mabor Mangok was murdered in June 2002 in Rumbek East county’s Pacong payam (district).
Marial Mamur Makec was murdered in May 2006 in the Rumbek East county of Akot payam.
Jok Dau Kachuol was killed in 2010 by the South Sudanese army (SPLA) during a disarmament campaign inside Cueibet town alongside other prominent family members.
Apareer Chut Dhuol Mathiang was recently assassinated in his home town of Pacong on 5 August 2014.