Home | News    Sunday 29 May 2016

S. Sudan militias frees more Ethiopian children, dozens missing


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

May 28, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – More Ethiopian children who were abducted by a South Sudanese militia group have been recovered and safely returned to their home.

Ethiopian troops carrying some of the recovered children abducted by Murle armed men, 11 May 2016 (Facebook photo)

The president of Gambela region, Gatluak Tut said seven more children were brought back to the region from where they were kidnapped last month.

The number of children so far freed from South Sudanese abductors has reached 63.

Their release comes after South Sudan’s deputy defense minister in collaboration with regional administrators and clan leaders made negotiations with the Murle tribesmen.

Tut said efforts to bring back all the kidnapped children would further be strengthened.

“The agreement between Ethiopia and the South Sudanese government to collaborate in resolving the problem peacefully will guarantee the return of the children and looted cattle” he added.

Officials say at least 60 more children are still missing and their release according to sources is being difficult as unidentified demands of abductors have not yet met.

It is feared that abductors could trade the children to other communities with the exchange of cattle.

A military official, who preferred anonymity, told Sudan Tribune Saturday that Ethiopian defense forces will “certainly carryout punitive military operations” should abductors refuse to free the remaining children.

Ethiopian forces are already in South Sudan to rescue the children but have not yet carried out military action, giving ongoing negotiations a chance to peacefully settle problems.

Critics accused Ethiopia’s government of doing little to immediately rescue the children.

“How could a border of country which prides it self as a militarily strong could be so porous to an extent that thousands of foreign armed men invade the nation” Biniyam Daniel, a politician based in Addis Ababa told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

“Where were the Ethiopian security forces, the Air force while they kidnap them and cross the border on foot? Why haven’t they acted in time?” he added.

Last month, an estimated 2,000 attackers from South Sudan’s Murle tribe armed with machine guns, raided 13 villages in Ethiopia’s western region of Gambela and killed 208 Ethiopian villagers, abducted over 140 children and stole at least over 2,000 cattle.

Gambella region is a shelter for over 280,000 South Sudanese refugees who fled to Ethiopia to escape the conflict that broke out in the young nation in December 2013.


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  • 29 May 2016 06:23, by Eastern

    ...I concur with Biniyam Daniel, Ethiopia is not doing enough. Why didn’t they act swiftly. A primitive community is toying with a supposedly regional military firepower. Shameful that rag tug villagers are dilly dallying with a "professional" army. Murle need to be taught a lesson they wouldn’t forget in a hurry.

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    • 29 May 2016 08:00, by ngadodo

      Eastern, Ethiopian is not doing enough, you just big Mouth because you are child of Coward Man, you want to tell us that you doesn’t know Your Bro, Kuol Manyang and others was their one who organised this attacked, when his Planned failure then used double standard by Covering Up his crime which he want to assistance Riek Machar, not only that trying used Murle name Killed them by lair to world t

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      • 29 May 2016 08:02, by ngadodo

        that was Murle Militia cross border to Ethiopian. But Gambella, attack is political nothing to do with Murle at all.

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        • 29 May 2016 11:35, by Eastern


          The Murle sit hole, welcome back to the forum! I thought you were dead. Please write in a language you understand. What you have written is incomprehensible.

          Ethiopia should have handled you the Murle in a much firmer way. Your brown eyed Murle women we’ve customarily married in Eastern Equatoria are doing well. Get a life!

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  • 29 May 2016 07:23, by Maper

    No other tribe abducts and keeps as their own children of other people; it is only Murle who does that. Even communities in former Eastern Equatoria who share some commonalities such as culture and language do not practise it to this extent. I do not agree with ST that other communities would buy the children. Murle can use the bushes of other communities to hide the the kidnapped children.

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    • 29 May 2016 11:38, by Eastern


      Now you are short of knowledge on Eastern Equatoria. Eastern Equatoria is not about the Toposa, Buya and the Didinga; there are more tribes there who don’t have the word abduction in their languages. Get a life!!!!

      repondre message

  • 29 May 2016 15:00, by Hardlinner

    the state in which the kids appeared in picture clearly demonstrate how backward Murle are. they are dirty, lack modernity and self respect. why would they need kids if they can’t look after them. i’m pretty sure dirtiness could be responsible for death of most of their kids. that could explain why they abduct kids to replace their dead one.

    repondre message

  • 29 May 2016 15:02, by Hardlinner

    the state in which the kids appeared in picture clearly demonstrate how backward Murle are. they are dirty, lack modernity and self respect. why would they need kids if they can’t look after them. i’m pretty sure dirtiness could be responsible for death of most of their kids. that could explain why they abduct kids to replace their dead one.

    repondre message

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