Population Seeking Refuge In Rebels Held Territory In South Sudan

Brigadier General William Kuol Chol, the opposition commander in Langken, Nyirol County(Photo: VOA)

Brigadier General, William Kuol Chol, the opposition commander in Langken, Nyirol County(Photo: VOA)

March 21, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Thousands of internally displaced persons, who are fleeing conflict in other parts of the country, have settled in Langken, Jonglei State, an area control by the armed opposition, under the former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

“on the run from conflict these families have sought refuge near the marsh land in langken, an area under the control of the rebel opposition, almost entirely from the ethnic Nuer community” the VOA reports.

Reported by the Voice of America, families who have witnessed some of the worst atrocities in the conflict, have found safety in Nyirol County in North East of Jonglei state.

Although, majority of the residents here are IDPs, according to the commissioner of Nyirol County, there are no overcrowded camps like in Juba, Bor, Bentiu and Malakal.

The IDPs, who are entirely Nuer, are integrated into local Lou-Nuer community, and the populations here live in peace, except fear that the government troops may invade and disrupt lives in the area any time soon.

In 2014, February and March, Langken was bombed by the Ugandan warplanes, killing over 17 people, mostly elderly and children in the nearby cattle camps.

According to the acting military commissioner of Nyirol county, Peter Thiey, the territory has remained peaceful due to natural defense, a river, and civil defense, mostly youth, known as the White army.

For the past one year the warring parties have fought brutal wars at the border in Duk County, which fence off the government troops and Ugandans from invading the Lou-Nuer territory, which extends far wide to Ethiopia border.

According to Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth, it is not difficult for the government to flush out the rebels from these areas but the peace loving government has refuse to shed more blood.

“if we the government so decides we can easily flush out the rebels within the short possible period, but we are not for that because we don’t want to lose more lives” the lawyer, who doubles as the Minister of information and the government spokesman proudly said.

The 15-month-old South Sudan conflict, however, is believed to have been prolonged by Ugandan mercenaries and Sudanese rebels, who joined the civil-war from its onset in 2013 on the side of President Salva Kiir, who has lost over 70% of the national army to his former Vice President, according to South Sudan parliament.

The Ugandans’ army, backed by their allies, joined the conflict in December 2013 to fight off unorganized troops of white army from Gawaar and Lou Nuer, who took up arms in response to “ethnic cleansing” in the capital, Juba. According to leaked AU report, Juba was cleansed of its Nuer population.

Despite that the foreign troops remain in the country, the Minister of information, Michael Makuei Lueth, believes that the government may call off negotiations any time but in the meantime, they prefer to fight and negotiate.

“It is not difficult today for the government to say no more negotiations but we are going on with offensive” Makuei said.