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Jonglei in panic as over 14,000 armed youth join Gatwech forces


In August, the fighting between the forces of Gen Simon Gatwech and Agwelek forces loyal to Gen. Johnson Olony spread to some parts of Jonglei State, including Fangak and Pigi counties.

This prompted the spiritual leader Makuach Tot to mobilise more than 14,000 armed youth to fight alongside Gen Simon Gatwech forces.

However, on Monday, during a meeting with a visiting UN delegation in Bor, the deputy governor, Jacob Akech Dengdit, raised the issue with the delegation.

He said the matter deserves much more attention from both the government and its partners.

“As we are talking, there are youth now in northern Jonglei State, especially in Fangak, Pigi from Jonglei State and Upper Nile, Malakal, Tunyga and all those areas. “We have a spiritual leader that is followed by over 14,000 youth,” Dengdit said.

“This is too dangerous, and it is a big problem,’’ he said. “They need to be brought back to the community immediately.”

He called on the UN delegation to support the state government in its attempt to pursue the spiritual leader to demobilise the armed youth and come back home.

“Let’s keep an eye to support the spiritual leader on how to come back to Ayod. We make sure that we give them the basic needs such as the food aid…so that this matter may not interrupt the peace in Jonglei State,” Dengdit added.

In August, local authorities reported that 11 people were killed and over 350 houses burnt to ashes. An estimated 3,000 households were displaced by
the clashes.


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