By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
July 23, 2013 (BENTIU) - The caretaker governor of Unity state, Joseph Nguen Monytuel, has asked the commissioners of Parieng, Guit, Rubkotna and Mayom counties to arrest those responsible for a string of recent murders within three days.
- Map of South Sudan’s Unity State.
Two people were killed in Agarek payam [district] of Parieng county, while four people were murdered in Manga payam of Guit county in attacks over the weekend.
Unity state’s deputy governor, Michael Chiengjiek Geay, who has just returned from Manga to assess the attacks, described the murders as “inhuman”.
He told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that innocent children and women had been burned to death in a house in Manga and warned that there was a danger that such acts could lead to inter-tribal fighting.
The alleged culprits must be brought to court to answer the charges, he said.
The deputy governor said that residents of Guit county were not involved in the attack, adding that the government had requested that the commissioners of Rubkotna, Mayom and Parieng arrest the people responsible.
Nearly 2,000 people have fled the area of Agarek to Parieng county amid fears of reprisal attacks from Guit county, after a group allegedly from Parieng county set fire to a number of tukuls - thatched huts made from local materials - killing both people and cattle.
Calling for calm, Unity state’s caretaker governor vowed to investigate the incident, urging Agarek residents to return to their homes, where he said they will be protected by county authorities.
Mayom county commissioner John Bol Mayak said on Tuesday that he had arrested the ringleader of the group who is alleged to have raided 434 cows from neighbouring Koch county. Madany Reay Kuol is accused of being in command of the 10 raiders who attacked Mar payam of Koch county on 19 July, leaving three people seriously injured.
According to Mayak, local authorities in the area said they had recovered 90 of the 434 stolen cattle but are still searching for nine other suspects. Mayak admitted that the exact number of cattle raided needed to be confirmed before compensation and return of the stolen cattle could be arranged.