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South Sudan army burns Mundri town without knowledge of local authorities: official

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October 9, 2015 (JUBA) - Authorities in Western Equatoria state have accused South Sudan army (SPLA) in Mundri West county of killing civilians and burning down the whole town to ashes without the knowledge of the state administration, forcing local populations to flee to the bushes for their lives.

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South Sudanese SPLA soldiers are pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015 (Photo AFP/Samir Bol)

Deputy governor of Western Equatoria state, Bullen Abiatar Abui, told Sudan Tribune on Friday that Mundri town has been reduced to a ghost town after units of the SPLA attacked the town, displacing the whole population and destroying their properties.

The cause of the action by the government forces remains unclear. State officials and local SPLA command have provided conflicting accounts of what transpired leading to indiscriminate shooting at civilians by the government forces.

Abui narrated that the situation in Mundri town started to deteriorate last week on 1 October when unknown gunmen attacked SPLA military post in the area at Mundri Junction (Farasika Mundri).

“The report we have received was that our forces came under attack in the area. That happened in their base at Mundri junction. Mundri junction is a military post. When we received this report, we started to make some contacts with relevant authorities. We contacted the general headquarters, the division commander and security forces to find out who were behind the attack on the base of our forces,” he said.

“We were also expecting our local command to work together with the local authorities. Unfortunately this did not happen,” he said.

He said the army instead of working together with the other organized forces, particularly police forces, wild life and fire brigade in the area to help identify who were behind the attack on the government forces, the SPLA elements came and attacked the town, burning it down to ashes.

He accused the SPLA of excessive use of force and attacks targeting innocent civilians and their properties.

“On the 6th [of October] the area witnessed attack helicopters flying over and bombing the whole area,” he further explained.

The state official blamed a reinforcement of the SPLA forces from Mvolo for the indiscriminate shooting, saying they started entering the area between 6th and 7th October targeting civilian settlements.

“The report we have received from county authorities is that SPLA forces which came from Mvolo carried out indiscriminate attack on the civilian settlements. Their actions were unprovoked,” he said.

“Now this security situation is very bad. People have fled their homes to the bush. There is no food. No shelter and now we are hearing of people being affected by some contagious diseases. The situation is extremely bad.”

He claimed that most of the towns and villages in Mundri West county have been burnt by the army, leaving people without shelters.

Army spokesperson, Colonel Philip Aguer, told reporters on Friday that his office had not received any report on the incident, saying he will have to ask the division commanding officer in the state for details.

The armed opposition faction led by former vice president, Riek Machar, this week issued a statement condemning the attack on civilians in Mundri by the government.

(ST)

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  • 9 October 2015 22:02, by Khent

    This criminal syndicate, masquerading as a ’government’ is completely out of control. These chimps are not even qualified to run a small soup kitchen let alone a ’government’ of a country. My little cousins could run South Sudan far better than these idiots.

    repondre message

  • 9 October 2015 22:52, by lino

    I am not sure but Equatorians have been advised to be careful about these Cowboys in Juba, but they seemed to understand when acted upon!!!

    repondre message

    • 10 October 2015 11:14, by Ayom Ayom

      These are the effect/impact for a political revolt. An organized rebellion, especially against the authority or government.

      repondre message

  • 10 October 2015 06:07, by marie

    These people started with Nuer and Nuer have stood their ground while Equatorians whine. This is not a time to stand with your hands akimbo and watch the massacre of your people. Take spears, arrows and bows and what have you to protect yourselves Ya Jama. How do you people understand. This government is not for the people but for mayhem. It is time to stand your ground and fight back.

    repondre message

    • 10 October 2015 06:25, by Mi diit

      This is the obvious result in a country run by a mad president with sycophant colleagues and tribal Dinka council of looters and destroyers.

      It can happen only in South Sudan that a national army can attack its own towns with the intention to kill everybody and destroy houses.

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    • 10 October 2015 08:33, by padiit gaga

      This president will not wine if he will try to run for presidential positin no body will vote for this school boy or cowboy he is not qualify to lead the nation but to watch cattle,coward he killed these civilians because he is afraid he thought that the rebeled against him.i believe when dr.Riek go to Juba every body will be supported him.

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  • 10 October 2015 07:10, by Hardlinner

    both SPLA and mundri militias are to be blame for senseless attack in mundri town. I believed the SPLA felt like the communities of mundri have allied themselves with the militias. they need to cooperate with SPLA rather than with militias. SPLA had never had problems with people of Mundri before Riek rebellion, therefore something could be going on in mundri county.

    repondre message

  • 10 October 2015 07:45, by marie

    This has been going for a long time. Riak rebellion is just a scapegoat. But the Tsunami has started and no return to the status quo. Time for Equatorians to stand their ground.This army is not a national army but occupational army that must be resisted by all means.

    repondre message

  • 10 October 2015 08:02, by Gabriel Ajak

    No shouting, no crying, no complain, these r the consequences of joking with lion, who told u that SPLA is not a human being, its not an insect to kill and get no answer, if don’t take care for ur selves SPLA will not take care for u otherwise u get realize that SPLA have mothers and fathers that can cry when u killed one of them the same same way u crying now with ur children in the bush.

    repondre message

    • 10 October 2015 11:33, by Frak Cho

      To all that have posted above, rebels are criminals as well as evil architect and they are good at fabricating things. What is the prove here Mundri town is burned down. Photoing one grass thatched tukul is a shame to depict burned down town. Unless we change our attitude, we are all doom to failure!

      repondre message

  • 10 October 2015 12:31, by Black Africa

    @ Gabriel Ajak,
    Hehehe you Dinkas it’s your time but when our time comes,what we will do to you Dinkas it will be history that have never happened in this world. We will eliminate Dinkas out of South Sudan the same way Egyptian and Sudanese Arab did to you guys

    repondre message

    • 10 October 2015 14:13, by Rami Tot

      Dinka want to accommodates themselves with other people resources that is why are all are busy annexing and confiscating other people lands with power in their hands. and that will cost them a lot.

      repondre message

      • 10 October 2015 14:55, by Hardlinner

        Rami, get your acts right. 98% of south sudan budget come oil revenues. 85% of south sudan oil come from dinka land. So what resources are you talking about pal?.

        repondre message

    • 10 October 2015 20:39, by Gabriel Ajak

      Black Africa,

      where is ur time bro? for get about that u nyamnyam n Gatma don’t have time forever because u didn’t know how to keep life safe or how beautiful is live or how sweet it is.

      repondre message

  • 10 October 2015 21:09, by Kerem

    Wonders will never happen in South Sudan. Tribal militia fighting the government soldiers and when they retaliate, the same government officials in the government side with the rebels and accused the government of targeting civilians. Let’s see when your leadership is installed in Juba how you will maintained our mad civilians across the country

    repondre message

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