19 Jan 2018

 

Fighting Between Rup, Pakam And Kuei Claims Over 100 Lives

0ver one hundred people have been confirmed dead and two hundred wounded after fighting broke out between the three ethnic communities of Rup, Kuei and Pakam communities last week in Malek County.

Fighting Between Rup, Pakam And Kuei Claims Over 100 Lives
Western Lakes State youth posing for a photograph [Gurtong file photo]

By Mabor Riak Magok

RUMBEK, 10 December 2017 [Gurtong]-
Villages of Mayom, Apet , and Cuei-cok were burned down in the two days fighting, in which the Rup community are demanding the Pakam community to leave the areas of Malek County in order for them to resettle back home.

The Minister of Information and Communication in Western Lakes State, Shadrack  Bol  Machok said the armed youth from Rup section organized an attacked to displace the Pakam community  from their original land in Malek County.

He said the fighting took place about fifty miles away from Rumbek town, in a place inaccessible by road.

 “The cause of the fighting is that the youth from Rup who were displaced in 2013 from the current Malek County were going back to their area but the Pakam community who had occupied the area did not go back, so they wanted to dislodge them forcefully so that they can settle in their land,” Bol said.

He said while the Rup and Pakam were fighting, another youth from Gok came and raided cattle from the Rup community leaving one person dead during the cattle raid.

Moses Makur Dut from the Rup community Malek County has been requesting the State and the national government of South Sudan to resolve the issue by resettling back the community of Pakam who have occupied the area for two years now.

“We have been begging the Pakam Community to leave the area for almost two years but nothing has materialized and no government has intervened to tell them to leave the area, so now we want to go back home and rebuild our lives and County”, said Dut.

“Since the Pakam occupied the area for these two years, we have been homeless and this has created big problems between us and neighboring communities who have been hosting us for the last two years like the community of Aliamtoc and that’s why we want to return to our home villages of Malek County,” he said.

Shadrack Bol Machok said the death toll is likely to increase as the area is remote and officials are still trying to gather information on the incident.

“In the clashes, houses were burned down and properties destroyed,” Machok said, adding that South Sudan’s military, the SPLA, had deployed troops from the State capital Rumbek to try to stop the violence.

However, the UN Mission in South Sudan in a statement during the first fighting estimated the death toll at more than 50 people and said it had dispatched a military patrol to the area to establish the level of destruction and the impact on civilians.

“We hope to engage the leaders of the fighting parties to press the need to refrain from revenge attacks. We will also intensify patrols to deter further violence,” UNMISS said.


 

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