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TRAFFICK ALONG JUBA-NIMULE DISRUPTED ON SATURDAY AFTER HEAVY FIGHTING IN CATTLE CAMPS

Nyolo, 08 March 2021, on 06 March 2021, residents of NyoloMagwi County have briefly sought refuge in the bush due to heavy fighting which took place in Nyolo, Eastern Equatoria State, according to the sources the fighting lasted for more than five hours, between unknown gunmen. Some residents in Nesito along Juba-Nimule highway revealed to SSLN that, sounds of heavy weapons were heard as far as Nesito, some 20 kilometers south of Juba. Following the fighting, many people (believed to be Dinka cattle keepers) with their cows arrived in Nesito. According to eyewitnesses, the cattle keepers looked tired and worried. 

There has been no public information from the government and the established media in Juba, regarding the incident. However, some people within the government who spoke to Liberty News on condition of anonymity, said that the incident was caused by cattle raiders who came and raided the cattle of Dinka herders. An officer within the South Sudan Army who also spoke to Liberty News on condition of anonymity said that the army chief of staff Gen Johnson Juma Okot aka JJ. Okot was on his way to Magwi County when the fighting was taking place. So, his convoy was briefly interrupted by the fighting. Gen Okot had to wait near Nesito until the fighting ended before he proceeded to his destination.  

A source who spoke to this publication from Nesito said the convey of the South Sudan army chief was briefly aborted until the General Headquarters of the SSPDF cleared the way and gave a green light for JJ Okot to proceed Magwi County HQs. 

An informant based in Nimule said the fighting left many people mourning because many of their relatives were killed and their cows raided and driven away. He said according to survivors, over 2,000 cows were stolen and dozens of people killed. 

South Sudan Liberty cannot independently verify who is fighting who and as well SSLN is unable to readily established the number of causalities by the time of filing this report. 

Andrew Olweny 

SSLN 

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