Equatoria: A Weekly Digest (19 Sep – 25 Sep 2016)

Weekly Digest of Equatoria NewsWeekly Digest of Equatoria News

Mobile networks at risk in Yambio. Deteriorating security situation in Yei. Newspapers close shop in Juba. Hijackings on the rise in Torit. These are just some of the developments making news in Equatoria last week.


Security

Juba:

  • JMEC starts a two-day workshop for peace deal stakeholders to review security arrangements.
  • Women sheltering at the UNMISS camp in Jebel Kujur area of Juba say they were raped by soldiers while a young man and a woman were wounded in a random shooting on the UN base.

Lainya: Heavy fighting reported at Keni junction following alleged fresh SPLA troop deployment to the area.

Magwi: Two gunmen killed in a failed attack on a military unit protecting a construction company. Meanwhile 75 private properties are reported to have been torched by SPLA in revenge attack following clashes with armed resistance forces operating in the area.

Mundri: 250 gunmen stop a commercial vehicle travelling from Juba to Mundri, detaining passengers for 24 hours before releasing them. Meanwhile 65 armed youth are alleged to have abandoned armed struggle against the government, according to local officials.

Torit: Unknown gunmen hijacked a vehicle travelling from Torit to Juba as residents express concern about the deteriorating security situation along the Torit-Juba road.

Yei:

  • Local officials confirm the defection of deputy governor Abraham Wani Yoane to the SPLM/A in Opposition.
  • Dozens of children forced to relocate after SPLA soldiers forcefully take over their orphanage.
  • Thousands fleeing violence are reported to be stranded in Yei airstrip.
  • Thousands of refugees camping in Lasu Payam of the South Sudan-Congo border town are reported to be stranded without relief food and medical assistance.
  • A UN High Commission for Refugees official accuses government and opposition forces of repeated attacks on Lasu refugee site.

Crime

Juba: 60% of solar traffic lights installed at over 50 junctions throughout Juba have been vandalized.

Governance

Yei: Residents complain of financial mismanagement and call for an investigation into spending of the state allocation received from central government

Health

Ezo: Thousand of residents are in dire need of humanitarian assistance after returning home from bushes, according to Commissioner Arkangelo Bakinde.

Juba: A health worker at Juba Teaching Hospital acknowledges lack of equipment to diagnose Hepatitis C.

Yei: Blood bank closes in Yei Civil Hospital due to fuel shortages resulting in suspension of major surgical operations

Economy

Juba: Daily newspapers in Juba stop publishing due to high cost of production caused by the economic crisis.

Yambio: Vivacell Mobile Network faces suspension in Yambio and nearby areas due to fuel shortages.

Yei: Farmers turn to beekeeping for honey, but decry poor infrastructure which prevents them from getting goods to market.

Education

Yei: Disabled persons plead for vocational training from government as financial crisis bites.

Entertainment

Juba: Kator FC beat Malakia by three goals to nil on Sunday at Juba Stadium as part of the division one clubs matches of Juba Football Association in the fifth week of the second round.

Torit: Burkan Football Club beat Nile Stars two goals to one in Torit Football Premier League First Division at Torit Freedom Square.

Refugee Crisis

The US announces US$ 133 million in new humanitarian assistance for refugees in neighboring countries and internally displaced people.

UAE donation of 100 tons of relief supplies is expected to help 60,000 refugees sheltering in Uganda.

Over 5,500 flee to Uganda in just two days according to the UN High commissioner for Refugees

Diaspora

Federico Vuni, Chairperson of the Equatoria Community says President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar should step down from power for failing South Sudan, and calls for new approach to peacebuilding.


News items credited to the following media houses: Radio Tamazuj, CRN, Eye Radio, and South Sudan Liberty. Links to their articles are provided throughout.

1 Comment on "Equatoria: A Weekly Digest (19 Sep – 25 Sep 2016)"

  1. URGENT FOR PRESS: ATTACK ON KWORIJIK BUNGU VILLAGE BY THE GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS

    On Monday 31 October 2016, evening, the village of Kworijik Bungu which is inhabited by members of the Bari community located 35 miles from Juba along the Juba-Yei road was terribly attacked by Juba armed elements. The area historically did not experience any sort of confrontation between armed groups nor there any presence of opposition or any other rebel activity since the outbreak of the violence in December 2013 as well July 2016.

    The government forces under normal circumstance pass through Bungu on daily basis to Yei where there are confrontations. However, an ambush was reported between Kuli Papa and Bungu, where a vehicle traveling from Yei to Juba was burned, passengers killed and some people abducted but were later all released.

    In response to this incident, a group of the army was sent from Juba. The villagers were caught by surprise when the soldiers instead of reaching the incident site ended their well-coordinated attack in Kworijik Bungu where the violence did not take place. The attackers parked their vehicles in a far distance and marched on foot to the village so as not to allow anyone escape this attack. They then ambushed the village and shoot innocent unarmed civilians indiscriminately. The government soldiers moved from house to house, shooting and killing whoever was there at the time. This resulted in the death of ten defenseless civilians; at least two families were completely eliminated as the husband, wife, and children were found in one place taking the meal.

    The deceased were buried in two mass graves yesterday 01 November 2016, mostly women and children, while many were injured (currently being treated in Juba Military Corps Hospital) and others remained unaccounted as they fled to the bushes and were later pursued by this armed gangs from Juba. Hence, their whereabouts to date remained unknown and another major concern.

    The reason for the attack remains unclear but seems part of the retaliation or revenge campaign due to the road ambush along the Juba-Yei road. But the fact is that those who were ambushed by the unknown armed group were later released unhurt. The crucial question remains, why are the innocent unarmed civilians of the Bungu community being attacked when there are unknown gunmen groups operating in known places to the government soldiers and they are afraid of confronting them? Why government army tend to kill the same civilians they were supposed to protect from the same unknown gunmen? Nevertheless, such cowardice act of violence against innocent civilians along ethnic dimensions suggests a profound definition of genocide.

    The people of Bungu community condemn such systematic and inhuman attack in the strongest term possible; this suggests a gross violation and an act of terrorism. The people of Bungu are peace-loving inhabitants, they are calling upon the government to conduct an independent investigation and bring the perpetrators to book. Whatever is falling along the Juba-Yei road has nothing to do with the people of Bungu. It’s the responsibility of the government to protect the people of Bungu and other South Sudanese equally. This is one of the reasons why the UN protection forces should be deployed in South Sudan. The international community should put more pressure on the government of South Sudan to ensure unarmed civilians are protected and culprits are held accountable.

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