February 28, 2014[Renk] — Many people living in Renk town in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State have left in recent days, heading north toward Sudan. Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Thursday, several citizens expressed concern about mass exodus of residents from the town.
Emmanuel Bargel Manyol, a primary teacher, said families mostly women and children have fled to Joda, Kilo Ashara and farther to Sudan, while others also flew their children to Juba, though the security situation is still apparently calm across the county.
“Schools are now open but without learners because parents who were too scared escaped along with their children,” he said.
“This issue has mainly affected the teaching process – the teachers are now spending most of their time in schools without teaching,” said Manyol.
Adok Chol, a farmer who fled recently from Renk to Sudan via Kilo Ashara, echoed the same point saying, “There are still people staying there, but the majority of the people some of them left, especially the women but the men are staying behind.” He likewise confirmed that there were no children in the schools any more.
He said the people were leaving because they were afraid. But he emphasized nothing had happened yet to substantiate the rumours of an impending opposition attack: “There’s nothing happening in Renk. Renk is fine.”
Markets reportedly remain open and other normal activities in the town are carrying on as usual, in spite of the rumours.
Meanwhile, Altayib Ajak, the commissioner of Manyo County, which lies on the opposite bank of the river from Renk, told Radio Tamazuj that his county is witnessing continuous movement of people fleeing to Sudan.
The health situation of the displaced is deteriorating owing to shortage of medicines, according to the commissioner. Most of those who were displaced on the west river bank have come to Kodok area which he described as the “only safe place” in the state.
He called on the organizations operating in the medical field to assist the new arrivals in Kodok area.
- Courtesy of Radio Tamazuj