Media in Cooperation and Transition
Brunnenstraße 9, 10119 Berlin, Germany

Our other projects

Run for your life!

Ayuel Manut
335.5km | Majok Ajieth describes how he narrowly avoided death and fled Bentiu on foot and by plane.
11.02.2016  |  Kuajok, South Sudan
 (photo: The Niles | Mayu Nakai)
(photo: The Niles | Mayu Nakai)

> Departure: Thar Jath, Unity State, South Sudan
> Arrival: Kuajok, Warrap State, South Sudan
> Distance: 335.5km


More than two years of conflict in South Sudan forced hundreds of thousands to leave their homes in South Sudan. Majok Ajieth, originally from Bentiu, Unity State, worked as an engineer at the Thar Jath oil field in northern South Sudan. He describes how he narrowly avoided death and fled on foot and by plane.

On December 18, 2013 the fighting started in the morning. Police and civilians from the Nuer tribe were killing people in the town. I was the first to be beaten by a stick until I was in a coma, but, by God’s grace, a few Nuers who had not turned wild protected me and took me to the house of the oil company’s manager.

All our houses were ransacked, searched and looted – everything that was movable was taken away and our houses were burnt down. The owner of the house we stayed in said, “No Dinka is alive out there. I don’t know how long I can protect you here.” He told us to run into the bush in the dark.

We fled until about three o’clock that day, then rested under a tree. At sunset we started our journey again but it became unbearable. We knew if we stayed in the bush we may get lost or killed by wild animals. We decided to go to the road heading to Bentiu but we were soon ambushed. We were caught and beaten, we were stripped naked and tied up like baggage but the person in charge of the force was not there. One of our captors suggested we should not be killed until the boss comes back.

When he finally returned we were put in a vehicle and taken back to where we had run from. When we arrived everybody became wild. Our enemies thought we were long dead and begged to have us killed, but the police officer in charge refused. We were locked up in a room with five gunmen to guard us.

We spent two long days and nights in that prison-like house. Then, on the second day, we were driven to Bentiu. The policeman did not want a foreign company’s staff killed and our company eventually airlifted us away.

I lost everything. At present I am jobless but happy to be alive.

This article is part of:
On The Move: Experience is a solid walking stick
All articles are available for republishing. Please notify us via email when you syndicate our content. Thank you!