April 12, 2017 (WAU) – The deputy governor of South Sudan’s Wau State, Charles Anthony Barnede said the security situation in town has returned to normal in the aftermath of the three day attack led by “armed youth who targeted a particular ethnic group”.
- IDPs shelter near the UNMISS base in Wau (IOM/Gonzalez 2016)
Addressing the media on Wednesday, Barnede advised civil servants who left their work places in fear to return.
The deputy governor said all the director generals at the various ministries should take immediate action and implement the order.
“The situation in Wau town is now calm. I have directed all government employees to return to their places of work, and failure to do so will result in the law coming into play,” he said.
Barende said authorities are working hard to protect civilians and security agencies have been called to apprehend anybody believed to have been involved in killing of civilians on Monday.
“Anybody who took part in the killing of civilians will face the law in court,” he stressed.
The official also appreciated efforts made by the country’s national security personnel and special forces during the attack.
At least 16 dead bodies, the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said, were discovered by its peacekeepers on patrol on Monday, with 10 others injured.
Fighting reportedly spread to Wau town after “a number of government SPLA soldiers were killed in an ambush on Sunday to the south of the town of Wau."
At least 84 people, UNMISS said, arrived at the protection of civilians’ site, with an influx of about 3,000 people, mostly women and children at a Catholic church in Wau.
The fighting, the U.N stated, followed the movement of SPLA troops, tanks and equipment towards the south-western part of Wau late last week.
Aid agencies say more than 7.5 million people, out of an estimated population in South Sudan of 12 million, are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 4.9 million people facing severe food insecurity due to displacement, conflict and economic decline since mid-December 2013.