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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Sudan’s Warrap state raiders shoot dead 5 at wedding party

By Ngor Arol Garang

March 6, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – A wedding party was thrown into disarray in Gogrial East County, Warrap State, on Friday night, when armed gangsters stormed a homestead and shot dead five people.

Six other people, including two children, were seriously injured in the attack that rocked Yiik Adoor village, some 20 kilometers from Lietnhom county headquarters.

However, the bride and bridegroom, whose big day had started on a brighter note, with hundreds of their relatives and other villagers enjoying the wedding ceremony, escaped unhurt. But the local officials said the couple are being treated for shock.

The injured are still in the villages seeking immediate transfer to Marial Lou rural Hospital, and one of them, who suffered several bullet wounds, is said to be in coma, Wol Kon Wol Laau, a local medical officer in charge of government supported primary health care unit (PHCU) in Ayiik Adoor has said.

Wol said he was about to reach the house when a group of over 20 men brandishing machine guns stormed into Kon Lau’s homestead at 11pm, and opened fire, as he was entertaining relatives, villagers and guests, who had attended his son’s wedding.

In a matter of minutes, the revelry abruptly ended, with wailing and mourning engulfing the home, as the five victims lay dead. The home was thrown into confusion, with frantic efforts being made to take the injured to local clinic.

Raiders took everybody by surprise when they entered the compound and indiscriminately opened fire at the people, some of whom were dancing, as others feasted on delicacies.

With the burst of gunfire, the villagers dashed for cover, but bullets hit some of them, as they fled, he said adding this is the second raid in the area as last incident in the recent past in which senseless killings of villagers have occurred, was in December 2009, between Nuer of unity state and local people in that village of Warrap State.

Area MP in Juba Kuot Deng and the members of the security team led by police officer Bol Akol visited the scene the following morning, as investigations into the incident began in earnest.

No suspects had been arrested but several bullet shells were found at the scene, indicating that sub-machine guns were used.

Some villagers linked the incident to the perennial cattle rustling menace among the rival local clans. The attackers, the police confirmed, made away with five head of cattle from the homestead.

Police officer Akol reiterated that it was the second cattle rustling incident adding that he had on Monday learned four people with Nuer identity were found in the area but reportedly said to be members of the SPLA soldiers.

He said someone in the name of Deng Mawien Makuac Dau reported to him that they met with four armed Nuer young men in mixed dress as trousers they put on were military khaki ( military uniform) with civil t-shirt. They spoke with them in Dinka and told them to be part of the SPLA soldiers in the area, police officer said.

This was on Monday March 1st, however, he following Wednesday, Mathiik Kuot reported to him that 19 cows from his camp went missing and their foot prints were traced into East of the village that goes into Nuer territory, just a day after another on Tuesday 2, that rustlers made away with 2 cattle from four different homes, shot herder dead in the same village. Other villagers, Mawien Kuch , also died on Wednesday in a similar attack at toch. Six cows were stolen.

The dead in the attack on the wedding revelers were identified as Amuk Deng 14, Nyan deng, 20, Geng Choldit, 48, Mathok Wol Makom, 62 and 4 years old baby was also among those who died instantly.

Another dead was a woman whose name could not be established. Those recuperating in the local clinic include Awal Monychok,Machar Wal, Wol Madut, Deng Juac, Kuot Reech and many others.

According to medical officer in charge of the area, Wol Kon Wol Laau and some local leaders who called Sudan Tribune said the village is in need of urgent deployment of Security forces.

Politician said the incidence of crime had increased despite establishment of the police post in the area. Villagers also blamed police for constant failure to arrest criminals. There have been attacks and police has never arrest of any of the attackers, said sub Chief Deng Kuot in the area.

The local chief reportedly said crimes have continued to increase due to police failure to apprehend some known armed robbers.

Some villagers accused members of police of shunning their real mission and spending most of their time harassing local people.

Earlier, an MP Kuot Deng was reportedly said to have called for calm, saying the police had launched investigations and would relentlessly pursue and arrest the suspects. He warned against any acts of retaliation among local clans.

The wedding attack comes barely days following the macabre slaughter of 4 members of three families, including eight children, in Mayen Rual. This was one of the most shocking incidents in the area.