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UNMISS peacekeepers claim to have intervened in cattle raid in Leer

Dec 20, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The Ghanaian UN peacekeepers in South Sudan’s Leer town of Unity State claims to have intercepted an attack by cattle raiders and disperse the attackers.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, David Shearer, addressing the media in South Sudan(Photo credit: courtesy image/UNMISS)
Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, David Shearer, addressing the media in South Sudan(Photo credit: courtesy image/UNMISS)

According to UNMISS report, a “Nimble and robust action taken by Ghanaian peacekeepers based in Leer in Unity State earlier this week has most likely saved both lives and property, as they dispersed a group of armed men breaking into an international non-governmental organization operating in the area.”

Speaking to the media, Major Eric Ebonyi, who led the operation, said their swift response ensured safety of the humanitarian workers and that they will increase patrols.

“The swift reaction of my troops to ensure the safety of the humanitarian workers attest to their vigilance and operational readiness,” comments Major Eric Ebonyi, who led the operation, adding that patrols will be intensified to ward off any future attacks.

According to the UNMISS peacekeepers report, the incident which involved “six intruders” occured at the middle of the night and only troops on patrol saw the incidents.

“It was in the middle of the night that the duty patrol team of the Ghanaian troops serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan spotted what is believed to have been six armed intruders at the main gate of the international non-governmental organization Unidor, the Universal Intervention and Development Organization. The peacekeepers fired warning shots to scare them away, but fire was returned.” The report said.

“Sufficiently deterred by the warning shots they were, however, as they eventually went into hiding, abandoning their apparent plan to raid the compound of the international organization.” The report continued.

As a result, after heavy exchanged of gunfire, the UNMISS peacekeepers called for a back-up and soon sixteen heavily armed including a tank joined the fight to disperse the six intruders who later vanished without reported casualties.

“Reinforcements to deal with the persistent presence of the men of a criminal inclination were deemed necessary, and sixteen national police officers soon jumped aboard a tank to join the Ghanaian troops in pursuing the weaponized visitors. After lots of firing of heavy weapons, the gunmen finally gave up and sprinted into the darkness.” The report reads in part.

The UNMISS report further claims that while trying to pursue the six intruders who escaped unhurt, another group of armed men who have stolen at least 12 cows were found.

“Five policemen pursued the fleeing men on foot, and soon came across yet another group of armed men, with twelve cows in tow.” UNMISS report further claim.

The twelve cattle raiders also fought with over 20 police officers in the middle of the night and no casualties were reported either.

“Fire was soon exchanged between law enforcement agents and cattle raiders, reinforcements in the shape of 20 police officers and Ghanaian soldiers in a tank arrived, and the second conglomeration of men with guns fled the scene, leaving the bewildered bovines behind.” UNMISS alleged.

“No casualties were recorded in the two incidents, with five stolen mobile phones being the only known losses.” The UNMISS reports claims.

The swift response has been acknowledged by the head of the peacekeeping mission in Bentiu, Hiroko Hirahara

“The local police, the protected humanitarians and Hiroko Hirahara, head of the peacekeeping mission’s field office in Bentiu, were all proud of and grateful for the swift action of the West African peacekeepers.” The said.

“Our timely intervention goes to show that we are well placed and poised to take all necessary actions, within the Rules of Engagement, to protect civilian lives and property in our area of responsibility,” says Lieutenant Colonel RK Sagoe, Commanding Officer of the Ghanaian battalion.

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