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Former Upper Nile governor urges calm after separate attacks


January 21, 2021 (JUBA)- Simon Kun Puoch, former governor of Upper Nile, one of the 10 states in South Sudan, has called for calm following attacks in which several lives and properties were lost.

Governor Simon Kun Pouch (FILE)

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday, Puoch said at least 13 people were killed and several others sustained injuries during two separate attacks in Melut County, Upper Nile.

The first attack, which took place on January 13, 2021, left five innocent civilians dead including a child, two women, an elderly person, and two young men, reads the statement in part.

The second incident intervened in Paloch on January 16, 2021, resulting in the death of 7 civilians from Gajaak, a clan from a section of ethnic Nuer. Five others sustained injuries and in critical condition.

The development sparked fears among political and military figures from the area, causing the government to dispatch top army officers to investigate the assaults and diffuse tension from escalating into a large-scale communal feud.

The Upper Nile State is the only remaining whose governor has not been appointed since July when President Salva Kiir declined to approve and appoint the nominee of the SPLM- IO to which Johnson Olony ally himself.

Kiir now wants Machar, the first vice-president in the unity government and the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) to write an undertaking to take responsibility should Gen Olony break the truce.

Speaking with church leaders from the All African Conference of Churches and World Council of Churches who had visited him to discuss the delay of implementation, President Kiir said that Gen Olony remains an “active soldier" who operates outside the territories that are neither controlled by SPLM-IO nor the government.


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