Several killed, 3 oil firms shut in Ruweng-Unity violence

A number of people were killed and three sub-contracted oil companies shut down following the weekend violence triggered by a cattle raid in Aliny County of Ruweng Administrative Area.

The firms shut down are the Sudd Trade and Investment, China Jiangsu International (CJI), and Power Petroleum International (PPI), sub-contracted by the Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC), which manages the Toma South oilfields.

The Ruweng acting Information minister, James Arop Ayuel, confirmed to Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday the shutting down of the three sub-contracted oil companies and the killing of several people on their side during fighting with armed youth from Rubkona County of Unity state.

He said the employees of the affected companies were evaluated from Toma South to Pariang town within the area of Ruweng on Sunday after armed youth from Rubkona County “looted company properties.”

“We condemn the killing of our people and the looting of the properties of the oil companies by the Unity State youth,” Ayuel said.

Ayuel said the wounded have been receiving treatment at Pariang Town Hospital since Sunday. He denied reports suggesting the involvement of the SSPDF Division 4 troops in the violence. He said the youth were influenced by the wrong elements in their midst. “The SSPDF Division 4 was not involved in the fighting. We cannot say they were involved because there is no evidence,” he said.

“The SSPDF Division 4 was not involved in the fighting. Although civilians saw military vehicles during the clashes, there is no evidence proving SSPDF involvement,” Ayuel added.

Normalcy was restored after the armed youth returned to Rubkona County of Unity State. “The situation has calmed down after the armed youth returned to Rubkona County on Monday evening, and the staff who were evacuated from the field last weekend have been moved to Juba. Many people were displaced from Aliny County to Pariang town, seeking protection from attacks,” he said.

Rubkona County Commissioner James Element Juol said the Rubkona youth returned home. “Rubkona County recorded six injuries and one fatality from a gunshot injury since the clashes erupted on June 22,” he said.

Armed youth from Ruweng had raided and stolen cattle from Rotriak Payam of Rubkona County of Unity State. The Ruweng administration recovered 42 of the stolen animals and organized their handover to the owners at Panakuach Payam of Aliny County last week. However, during the handover, armed youth from both sides clashed without a clear reason, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 people and leaving six others wounded.