AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Wave of killings against civilians in Yei: for the Bishop "heinous actions and unspeakable crimes"

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 massacres   bishops  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "Heinous actions and unspeakable crimes". This is how Mgr. Erkolano Lodu Tombe, Bishop of Yei, in Southern Sudan, condemned the wave of killings against the inhabitants of the city and surrounding areas, committed by mixed groups of military and civilians, according to the testimonies of survivors. Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe statements followed last week’s slaughter of three members of the same family their bodies were thrown into Yei River.
One of the family members is still missing according to authorities. The Catholic prelate says such incidents are fuelling fleeing of citizens for refuge in the neighbouring countries, in particular Uganda.
Yei had remained relatively peaceful during the two years (2013-2015) of civil war between the faction led by President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar. After the recent clashes in the capital Juba, which are seriously undermining the peace process (see Fides 15/07/2016), Yei, which has always been under the control of government forces, has seen a wave of assaults committed by death squads, who attack using bladed weapons (machetes) and firearms.
According to the testimonies of the inhabitants, every night there are deadly assaults to homes.
The rural areas around Yei and other nearby areas have become bases for rebels loyal to Machar, and according to some people the wave of deadly attacks against the civilian population is a retaliation for the attacks committed by the rebels against government troops. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/08/2016)