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Uror County - 19 Mar 2023

Attack on humanitarian convoy leaves 2 dead in Jonglei State

An armed individual in the town of Pibor, in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (OCHA/Cecilia Attefors)
An armed individual in the town of Pibor, in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (OCHA/Cecilia Attefors)

The commissioner of Uror County in Jonglei State has said two people were killed when a group of armed youths attacked an aid convoy along the Gadiang-Yuai road on Friday evening.

Machot Gatluak Kenyjak told Radio Tamazuj over the weekend that the World Food Programme (WFP) convoy was attacked on Friday at 4 pm on the outskirts of Uror town.

“On Friday at 4 pm, a WFP convoy delivering aid from Bor to Uror was attacked by armed criminals outside Uror on the road between Gadiang and Peleng, and two drivers were killed,” he said.

The local official blamed the youth from the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) for the attack.

Relatedly, Commissioner Machot said an Ethiopian national was killed in a vehicular accident along the same road on the same day.

“On the same day (Friday), an Ethiopian was killed when two vehicles collided along the same road,” he said. “The body of the deceased is here with us in Yuai and we are still waiting for the bodies of the two people who were killed earlier.”

Meanwhile, Mading Akueth, the state’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) chairperson, condemned the attack on the WFP relief convoy but said only one person was killed and several others injured.

“There was an attack on the convoy when it was reaching Yuai. They came under attack from GPAA criminals,” he said. “The convoy was from Bor to northern Jonglei State areas of Lankien and Motot. At least one person was confirmed dead and others were injured but there was no looting because the government intervened.” 

According to Akueth, repeated attacks on aid convoys across the state affect delivery, and WFP is being engaged to find a solution.

“WFP, as a matter of principle, refused to be escorted by the government police. They said they want to practice the principle of impartiality and that according to their policy, they can move alone and that is a challenge,” he said. “Now we have come up with a project called Road for Peace. 300 youth from GPAA and Jonglei State will be deployed to work on the road between Bor and Pibor to deter any attack.”   

For his part, Abraham Kelang, the GPAA information minister, dismissed the allegations by the Jonglei State officials that the attackers were from Pibor.

Radio Tamazuj could not immediately reach WFP for comment.