We have been getting reports out of Pibor this morning that SPLA soldiers have arrested and detained large groups of people within Pibor town and have transported them to unknown locations. Mary has been trying to get in touch with her brother who is currently in the area, but his phone is power off.
She also found out that Barchoch, the Murle Red Chief she met with last week was arrested in Lekuangole yesterday. This seems to have something to do with the disarmament campaign and claims that one of his sons was keeping weapons somewhere. He was released today, but the details are still unclear as to what is going on.
Mary believes this is primarily connected to issues surrounding the Elections. She believes the SPLA is trying to frustrate the local population so they won’t bother to go and vote next week.
When she was there last week she spoke with a number of people that had been treated very badly during SPLA’s disarmament campaign. Many of them told her that they didn’t care about the election and that they wouldn’t bother to vote because they didn’t want to have to deal with the SPLA forces again.
Mary has also been getting reports that Voter registration cards have been confiscated by SPLA from numerous people. This has apparently been going on for some time now.
Mary wants to travel to Pibor to be there for the elections. At this point though she is very concerned about her safety and that of her supporters. She knows that if they want to, the authorities on ground could arrest or even do a variety of other things. She isn’t very sure it is worth it.