Five abducted children, mother reunited in Jonglei

Authorities in Jonglei State said they had received five abducted children, including their mother, on Thursday.

Authorities in Jonglei State said they had received five abducted children, including their mother, on Thursday.

A mother and her two children, two other siblings and a single child are among those who have been missing in Akobo for more than a year.

The family of five were victims of the schemes of a conman from Akobo West in Jonglei State. It all started when a man who was only identified as Deng conned his own relatives that he would facilitate for the children and their mother to travel to Uganda for school.

Unfortunately, the mother of two soon realized they had instead been brought to Mayom County in Unity State and ostensibly sold to a prominent senior army officer. The man used a ruse. He claimed to be the son of Maj. Gen. James Kuoy Phan and that he was born to a mother in Akobo during the liberation struggle.

The unsuspecting family fell for the trap! The man is suspected to have obtained SSP 9 million for the family of five children and a mother from Maj. Gen. James Kuoy Phan.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Friday, Information Minister Elizabeth Nyadak said they have treated the case as an abduction and the criminal behind the scheme has been arrested and would face the full force of the law.

“Yesterday afternoon, we received all our children who had been missing since July last year. The children and a mother were tricked and taken to Unity State last year from Akobo East County. They include three boys –Thiran Gatkuoth Mout, aged 11, and Deng Kutey Wichtour, 15 years old. Goanar Gatwich Jock, 1-year-old, two girls, Nyayutut Diew, Lual, 12 years old, Nyazoali, three years and their mother Nyareak Gatwich, 21 years old,” minister Nyadak stated.

The official has lauded efforts by the Jonglei State government to trace, identify and reunite the abducted family back to their relatives in Jonglei State. She explained that the victims of this ‘abduction’ incident are receiving all the necessary psychosocial support in Pibor before they can be reunited with their families. The victims were flown to Juba and handed to the Jonglei State coordination office on Thursday.

“All the abductees were returned from Unity State. So they are now in Jonglei State and they will continue to Akobe East County so that they will be received by their relatives. These abductees were recovered from Mayom County,” Minister Nyadak said.

For his part, Gatmai Wal Ruot, the Unity State deputy coordinator in Juba, confirmed that investigations have revealed that the criminal behind the abduction of the family was not the son of Maj. Gen James Kuoy Phan. Gatmai added that the criminal individual was simply using the story to get con money from the senior army officer.

Gatmai explained that the government of Unity State would refund the SSP 9 million that Maj. Gen. James Kuoy Phan lost in the scheme.

The army general is believed to have fallen for the con. He treated all five children and their mother as his own family. The children and mother were all in good health when they arrived in Juba.