An 11-year-old boy who went missing while travelling to Sudan at the peak of the South Sudan conflict in 2015 was over the weekend reunited with his family in Unity State.
Gattiek Tap Teny, the father of the boy, told Radio Tamazuj Tuesday that his son Teny Manguany, then aged four, and his older sister were travelling with others to Khartoum to enrol in school when they were attacked by Sudanese rebels in 2015.
“I was informed when I was at the University of Juba at the time that the boy went missing between Rial and Panakuach after they were attacked by Sudanese rebels,” he explained. “One child in the group was killed on the spot, and the rest were separated, including this son of mine who is now 11 years old and was reunited with us on Saturday.
“The forces that attacked my family did not belong to the SPLA (now SSPDF) but were Sudanese rebels,” he added.
According to Tap, the SSPDF unit stationed at the Panakuach border with Sudan was the one who called to inform the family that the boy who went missing in 2015 had returned home.
“We first sent the elder sister to identify if he was truly the one, and she identified him positively as her brother and our missing son,” he said. “We are very happy to receive our son this year, 2023, and we hope it will be a year of peace for the family and everybody.”
Tap said the boy has not spoken the Nuer language for the last seven years.
Meanwhile, Teny Manguany said he was a shepherd in South Kordofan in Sudan and that he never went to school. He said he lost the goats in his charge, and the owners threatened to kill him if he did not find them.
He added that the people he was living with told him that his mother was from Unity State in South Sudan and that this prompted him to return home.
“I was not going to school in Miroir in South Kordofan State in Sudan, and I was a shepherd taking care of 45 goats. The reason I came back to my parents in Unity State is that I lost all the 45 goats I was taking care of for the last seven years,” he narrated. “The owners of the goats told me not to go back unless I recover their goats or that they would kill me.”