Nov 27, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Five people have died following a mortar shell explosion during a cultural initiation ceremony of boys into adulthood in Pagarau Village of Yirol East County in Lakes State, yesterday, November 26, 2020.
The director of Yirol Hospital, Dr. John Mabor Kok, said that five people were confirmed dead.
Dr. John also said that one of the wounded is in critical condition.
“There are superficial and deep injuries. Already we have handled them. One passed away on the way to the hospital. One has a liver injury and this is the serious one,” he said.
The secretary-general of the defunct Eastern Lakes State, Barnaba Mayor Deng, explained that the explosion was caused by a fire which was lit for visibility at night but unfortunately ended up detonating an abandoned mortar shell.
“They lit a fire and did not know that there was an abandoned 60-millimeter mortar shell in the ground. It exploded and unfortunately killed and injured people,” according to Mayor Deng.
He further said that the “cultural initiations are always practiced and done by adult boys who have matured and want to join manhood from boyhood starting from November, December, and January towards the end of the year and beginning of a new year.”
The explosion occurred a few days after UNMAS said that more than 5,000 South Sudanese, have been killed or injured by landmines and unexploded ordinance since 2004.
In a report, UNMASS stated that more than a million explosive items including over 33,000 anti-personnel mines, 5,900 anti-tank mines and 74,000 cluster munitions have been found and destroyed since 2004 by various mine action partners.
UNMAS reported that together with national and international mine action, they will analyze the remaining contamination and the available clearance resources in order to develop a credible and coherent plan for the completion of the remaining hazards.