not good news

i probably should have posted this the other day. But i’ve been slow when it comes to the internet lately. sorry mom, will work on an email soon.

The region and tribe that my wife comes from was attacked by a rival tribe just a little over a week ago. Some really horrible news is coming out such as the fact that at least 750 people have died from the fighting.

Here is a report I found from someone who visited the area just a few days after it happened:

1. THE COVERED TRUTH

Report on the attack on Murle town of Lekwangole

Date 11/3/2009

Pibor, South Sudan

“On Sunday, 8 March 2009 at 4:00 PM Nuer Youth armed to the teeth with G3 rifles and automatic machine guns, attacked and captured the Murle town of Lekwangole 30 Miles north of Murle provincial town of Pibor

The attackers killed 213 people including Lekwangole town clerk Mr. Nur Gayin and left 120 wounded 39 men were captured and taken alive. 28 children and 11 women were
also abducted Government officials in Pibor counted the number of 9,773 displaced people which are being hosted in primary schools in Pibor town without food, shelter and medicine.

An estimated 2,000 head of cattle were taken. I visited Lekwangole on the 10th of March, two days after the attackers left the town with their looted possessions. I was horrified with what I saw in my own eyes. Bodies were laying everywhere in Lekwangole town. The whole town was brought to ashes. The only two NGOS in the area namely COOPI and MSF Belgium compounds were destroyed and looted of all the valuable
items including medicine in MSF Clinic. I even saw two decomposed bodies near COOPI Compound. I was warned by the natives not to go further into the bush where a lot of dead bodies were laying because the Lou Nuer fighters were still combing the bush. They kill whoever their eyes could see in the area.

I was able to bring some wounded to the clinic in Pibor town including a young woman who was shot from the back and the bullet came out just near her upper breast. Up to this moment, many women and children are still missing. The local authority that went and did a thorough assessment after me put the number of dead toll to 400 people. The fighting was still raging north of Lekwangole town when I left the place.

The capture of Lekwangole town by what is so called cattle rustlers is a new phenomenon in history of cattle raiding practices in South Sudan. I condemn this aggression. The cattle’s raiding was always done in cattle camps. But capturing the town like Lekwangole and destroying everything including hospital and NGOS properties, is not any longer cattle raiding. It is an aggression against development in the South Sudan.

Lekwangole was captured and held for two days. What baffled me most was that the SPLA army in the town was just looking on. They did not intervene to stop the aggression from the Nuer Youth.

It is now almost two weeks since the fighting began and nothing is done to contain the situation. As I report this incident, the fighting is still burning in Manylangirach village North of Lekwangole town. If the international reporters could be dispatched to the area, they could confirm what I am reporting about I am calling upon the Government of South Sudan to intervene and stop this fighting. Already 213 people have died and many more are still missing in the bush

It is unbelievable to see people are killed 4 years after CPA was
sign. Southerners should not die again after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This lawless act on Lekwangole may drag the Government of South Sudan to the state of inability to solve its own domestic problems

The government inability to halt the aggression, made people to think the Nuer Youth is acting with full knowledge of the Government of Jonglei State and GOSS. It is the government who disarmed Murle population and it is now the same Government who could not protect the people they have disarmed for the purpose of peace and harmony in the region.

I call upon the UN and the entire humanitarian organizations to
intervene and stop fighting in Lekwangole and to bring food and
blankets to these 9,773 internally displaced civilians from Lekwangole
Payam

I also call upon Murle leaders and youth to refrain from any retaliatory act or revenge. Let the law take its cause. The cycle of violence will not lead us anywhere. God is against the killing of human beings by his own fellow human. Let us together make South Sudan a better place to live in

Continue praying to God for Sudan such that lawless killings as such will not occur again”

For the record the fighting seems to have stopped. It looks like a few folks and agencies are trying to get in and give some support to folks on ground.