One killed in Lafon-Mogiri Road ambush

At least one traveler was killed while his companion survived unhurt after fleeing the scene after gunmen waylaid them along the Lafon-Mogiri road over the weekend.

The victims were traveling from Eastern Equatoria State’s Lafon County to Juba in Central Equatoria State via Mogiri for shopping.

Local authorities in Lafon appealed to the leadership in Eastern and Central Equatoria states to work together to establish barracks along the Lafon-Mogiri Road to check banditry.

Visal Likale Olum, an SPLM-IO member of the Eastern Equatoria State Legislative Assembly who hails from Lafon, said the body of the deceased was taken to Juba for burial.

He said the road from Lafon to Mogiri has remained insecure since South Sudan gained independence and that many lives and property have been lost along the road.

“The two gentlemen left Lafon for Juba but unfortunately the road was not safe and they met unidentified gunmen who shot and killed one of them on the spot while the other one escaped unharmed and ran up to Mogiri where he found some rescue,” he explained. “So, some of the sons of Mogiri took it upon themselves, went and retrieved the dead body, and took it to Juba for burial.”

Likale added: “This is very unfortunate for the people of South Sudan and for that particular community because this is not the first time people have been killed on that road.”

For his part, Lafon County Commissioner Mengisto Ukach confirmed the incident and urged people to avoid traveling in small numbers.

“It is true and the attacks always happen in the same place called Garile Ikeru which is a distance of one hour on foot to Mogiri and is far from Lafon,” he said. “I urge our civilians not to move in small numbers but is a group of about 10 people and above when they want to travel. They should also report to the county administration so that they can be escorted by the police. This is one of our plans because there is no way we can stop people from using that road.”

Meanwhile, Charles Okullu, an activist in Eastern Equatoria State, condemned the continuous attacks on innocent civilians along the road and urged authorities to investigate the killings and hold perpetrators accountable.

“The killing of unarmed civilians is very unfortunate, especially along the Lafon-Mogiri Road heading to Juba. The inability of the government to protect civilians is something known to everybody yet the cardinal role of the government is to protect civilians and their properties,” he stated. “We are losing our people and we encourage the government’s Central and Eastern Equatoria states to work together to ensure that the road is safe.”

Radio Tamazuj could not reach Central Equatoria State authorities for comment.