More than 20 people, including high-ranking police, army, and national security officers, were killed in a fresh attack on Monday morning in Tharkueng Payam of Jur River County in Western Bahr el Ghazal State.
Shops and grass-thatched houses were also burnt in the 3 a.m. attack allegedly carried out by armed youth from the neighboring Apuk section of Warrap State.
According to the Western Bahr el Ghazal State acting police commissioner, Major General Simon Yasi who visited the attack scene this morning with senior state officials led by Acting Governor Arkangelo Anyar Anyar, the attackers targeted a police station where soldiers were sheltering.
“This morning, there was an attack in the area of Tharkueng, particularly near the bridge, targeting the police who were protecting the police station. We lost a number of our officers including police Col. Gondensio Awet and a military police officer among others,” he said. “We are currently at the scene in Tharkueng where the incident occurred and we will collect the dead bodies and the wounded.”
Yasi told Radio Tamazuj tht the police will make a joint redeployment of police and army with orders to carry out their duties which include protecting the lives of people and their properties.
Gen. Yasi added: “Right now we are redeploying soldiers to carry out their duties which include providing security and protecting civilians and their properties.”
For his part, Acting Governor Anyar condemned the killings and urged the Warrap State government to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators.
He described the attack as a violation of last month’s presidential order which urged the warring communities in Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal states to stop fighting.
“This is a violation of the recent order the president issued on 16 January 2023. This is not acceptable. As a state, we have come to take information and make a report. The people fled their homes at night,” he said. “This aggression will create instability between the two states and we urge Warrap State to bring the culprits to book.”
When contacted, Warrap State Information Minister William Wol Mayom Bol confirmed the incident and said local officials are currently investigating the matter.
“Yes I heard about the eruption of the conflict but we need to investigate the root cause of the conflict between the Marial-Wau community of Jur River County and Apuk Giir Thiik of Gogrial East County of Warrap State,” he said. “We are working together as a government and after the incident, we have jointly brought forces to the town of Tharkueng.”
Wol said seven people from Warrap, including a woman, were killed during the attack and that other people fled to the bushes.
The border area of Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal states has witnessed cyclic violence which has claimed over 100 lives since last year.
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