JUBA, South Sudan – Over 3000 residents of Kworijik village, Central Equatoria state fled their homes after unknown gunmen attacked the village on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 19, 2015.
Armed men from the Mundari tribe (cattle keepers) attacked the village in a claimed revenge attack over the killing of one of their tribesmen in December 2014 by the Bari tribe (farmers) of the same village.
Eye witnesses say that one cattle keeper (Mundari tribe) drove his cattle into the farm of a Bari farmer, and when the farmer tried to chase away the cattle using a stick, the cattle keeper opened fire at him and he had to run for his life.
Over Five people are reported dead and several others severely injured, and the displaced are taking refuge at Juba One Primary School near Juba town. Some residents were said to have crossed the river Nile for safety. Police and military personnel were deployed to the village to restore calm.
According to one Mundari elder who spoke on condition of anonymity, the attacks were not planned by the Mundari as a tribe but this was individuals who chose to discredit their mutual and peaceful co-existence with the Bari people. The elder expressed hope that the police wl bring the culprits to justice.
The two tribes of Mundari and Bari belong to the Main Bari speaking group of Central Equatoria and have lived peacefully for many years.
While addressing internally displaced people in Juba One Primary school, the Central Equatoria governor Major General Clement Wani Konga assured the people of continued efforts to bring a lasting solution to the problem facing the village and also that the culprits would be brought to book.
Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), Red Cross, and other humanitarian organizations are on the ground to make needs assessments for internally displaced persons.
Kworijik village is home to Vice President of South Sudan Hon. James Wani Igga and former Mayor of the Juba City Council Mr. Babala Abdullah.
By Taban Ronald Setimo