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POCHALLA TOWN - 1 Apr 2024

Fresh attack leaves 10 dead in Pochalla County

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)

At least 10 people were killed and 10 others injured, while 15 children went missing following a fresh attack on a village on the northern outskirts of Pochalla town on Sunday, local officials said.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Monday morning, Acting Pochalla County Commissioner Owety Olung said hundreds of cattle were raided while the entire village of Ajwara was torched.

“As of this morning, we confirmed the dead to be 10 and 10 others were injured and are now at a health facility in Pochalla town, while 15 children remained missing since the village was invaded. Hundreds of cattle were also raided,” he explained.

The acting commissioner said the attack was provocative and warned of escalating violence. He accused armed Murle youth of involvement in the attack.

“The attack on Ajwara Payam was a surprising one, which is why all those killed were the elderly and women, and they burnt homes. The reason for the attack is that they want to intimidate us because they have government on their side. Our youth are pursuing them, and they will be fought wherever they go,” he warned.

When asked if the attack could be linked to the recent assassination of Jebel Boma County commissioner, Commissioner Owety said, “The entire area of Raat belongs to Anyuak, Jie, and Kachipo, but we were displaced due to insecurity, and that area is now a four-day walk to any Anyuak settlement. No Anyuak can make it that far to attack. What happened was that there were just internal wrangles within GPAA [Greater Pibor Area] over gold.”

For his part, Col. Amati Ochan, the county police inspector, said the situation remains dire.

“Ajwara Payam was attacked at 4:30 pm, but the news reached us an hour later. We have confirmed the attackers to be Murle youth because one of them was killed. The situation is dire, but the local youth went there last night to rescue the situation, and they are now burying the dead,” he said.

However, Abraham Kelang, the GPAA Information minister, said they were unaware of the attack and would consult to get details.