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Unity State probes last week’s inter-communal killings

Bonifacio Taban
Officials have launched a probe into a clash between two communities last week in Unity State, killing seven people including two children who were caught in the crossfire.
28.11.2013  |  Bentiu
Whilst many communities in Unity State coexist peacefully, inter-communal clashes still occur in some parts: Women trading peacefully in Kalibalek market in Bentiu, October 5, 2012.
Whilst many communities in Unity State coexist peacefully, inter-communal clashes still occur in some parts: Women trading peacefully in Kalibalek market in Bentiu, October 5, 2012.

Unity State Assembly Speaker James Nguany Chakuoth on Friday, November 22, appointed a panel of seven lawmakers to investigate the sudden outbreak of violence between three villages on November 18.

We formed a committee to go and investigate and analyse who is in wrong.”
James Nguany Chakuoth
We formed a committee to go and investigate and analyse who is in wrong and our response to whoever is guilty,” said Chakuoth.

Nyapuot Yaka, a member of the Leek community, said she was in her home in Nyachom near the disputed Yoayang area when the fighting between the Leek and Jikany communities broke out last Monday evening. Her four-year-old daughter was killed in the clash.

A man who was seriously shot was brought in my house. He was covered with white cloth. Another man pushed my children outside, and I begin quarrelling with him and he hit my back with a gun. As soon as I went out, my daughter was shot in the head and the man ran away,” she said Yaka.


Yaka said another child from their village was also killed. Officials say five people were killed from the Leek community and two children from the Jikany community were killed when they were caught in the crossfire. Nine people were injured.


Gatdet Luony, a Jikany living in the nearby village of Madereth, said the fighting started in his village, along with Nyachom and Chaalual, after 50 men who had fought in the extended civil war, who are not affiliated with either community, attempted to move into Yoayang Monday morning.

He said the 50-square-kilometre area is close to the River Nile and both communities hope to settle in the area and grow crops.

We do not know the causes of the fighting.”
Gatchuk Chuol Biem
Luony said people from both communities appealed to the Rubkotna County Government to send police to the scene to settle the dispute and remove the veterans but the fighting started before officials had time to react.

Eventually, more than 100 security officers were dispatched to the area on Tuesday and remain in the region.

Gatchuk Chuol Biem, an elder in the Leek community, saids that he is not sure who is to blame. We do not know the causes of the fighting. We were at home around five o’clock in the evening. The group came and chased us out of the area. The following morning, around seven o’clock, we were attacked by the same group of people and they speared a man,” said Biem.