Pigi County Besieged By Rebel Fighters; Citizens’ Life Deteriorate

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

Some citizens who have managed to escape from the areas of Atar and Khorfulus have recently reported that residents of the areas live in fear of the ‘White Army’.

Hon. Wilson Awol Gai-jang, who is an area legislator in the Jonglei State Assembly decried the way his people have been neglected by governments and humanitarian organisations concerned with the suffering of the people: the way his people have been isolated and continue to suffer endlessly since early this year.

Awol said the political dispute that started within the ranks of the ruling SPLM party late last year has made his people the total victims and that many lives have been lost and others are still awaiting the same fate of death in the area.

“Our people are being blocked by rebel fighters. All borders of Pigi County are in control of SPLA defectors or their supporters. People in Atar or Khorfulus cannot come out of that disaster because they are being killed should they attempt to escape. It is also clear that nobody from outside can get into those areas. It is already a hotline,” Awol lamented.

The legislator revealed that all kinds of properties such as crops or livestock have been looted or destroyed by rebels since April when they first stormed the area.

“There is no food. No medicine or anything that can make life worthwhile. There is also no hope. We have been hoping that peace would be the solution but then it is not coming. Yet our people die from rebel’s gunshots, day and night, from hunger and disease. We thought the government would chase out the rebels from the area but now the government says they are observing ceasefire,” Hon. Awol explained.

In July the White Army carried out massacres in the Dinka areas of Khorfulus and Atar, he said.

Awol said that Pigi County is inhabited by the Dinka communities of Paweny and Luac; and for that matter, they are being targeted by pro-Machar’s fighters and killed without mercy on their tribal line.

He added that some of the local citizens have been displaced to Malakal and that others have gone as far as Renk and Melut, yet others are now hostages of the rebels in their own homes.

“They are in prison. My people are in prison but not because they are doing anything; they are there because they are Dinka.” 

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