South Sudan tribesmen abduct more children in Gambella

ESAT News (May 9, 2016)

Amid reports of return to Ethiopia of children abducted last month by the Murle tribe from South Sudan, news surfaced that more children were abducted on Friday.

Sources told ESAT that the Murle tribesmen had crossed into Ethiopia on Friday night and had abducted four children. Details of Friday’s attack are scanty but the director of Anuak Survival, Nyikaw Ochalla confirmed the attack and the abduction of four children.

South Sudan meanwhile said it had managed to rescue some of the abducted children. “The Murle’s traditional and State authorities managed to rescue between 32 to 52 children abducted from Ethiopia’s Gambella region,” Gurtong, a South Sudanese news website quoted Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, SPLA Spokesperson as saying.

“The children are currently in different locations but will all be assembled in Pibor town and then moved to Pochalla where they will be handed over to the Ethiopian authorities” Gen. Koang said.

He said an SPLA Committee, Boma State Governor and Deputy Minister for Defense will oversee the rescue operations.

“It is a very encouraging number because the reported number was around 100 children. This is an indication that the abducted children are going to be recovered all” Koang told Gurtong.

Koang also said media reports that the Ethiopan Army has entered South Sudan to rescue the children were not true. He said his government would like to “correct negative propaganda circulating on social media that Ethiopia Forces had invaded South Sudan territory. This is totally untrue; the correct information is that Ethiopian National Defence Forces are currently deployed in Tierguol and Pochalla on their side of the border.”

He however admitted that Ethiopian forces have deployed in Pochalla at the Ethiopian-South Sudanese border and that a joint military operations inside South Sudan’s Murle territory may soon be carried out to rescue the over 100 abducted kids, according to a report by Sudan Tribune.

The Murle tribesmen last month crossed into the Ethiopian border and killed over 200 people and abducted over a 100 children.