Abductee frees herself, seeks parents

A victim of abduction has appealed to the government and well-wishers to help her reunite with family after he escaped from captivity recently.

Monica Atiya, who is now 14 years old, was abducted from her village in Imurok Payam in Torit County when she was younger.

In an interview, Atiya says she does not remember when exactly she was abducted, along with her brother and cousin.

“We were on the farm that day. My mother had told us to wait for us as she collected firewood,” she recalls. “The men came and took us. My mother saw from far; she screamed. But the men carried us on their backs.”

She said her cousin was later killed by the abductors after she could not walk any more, saying her feet hurt.

“My cousin sister was tired of footing; she could not move any more, she was told to move but she could not do so. They shot her dead,” the teenager explained.

However, she still remembers the names of her father and mother – Livio Mukaa and Engiara Kolu, respectively.

Last week, her ‘new father’ – a native of Pibor Administrative Area – decided to take the family to Kenya where she would stay with his wife, an opportunity that helped Atiya escape.

“This man  instructed the wife to go with me to Kenya. While trekking, I managed to escape. I found myself in Kapoeta,” she added.

She said her brother is still with the abductor in Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

Atiya added that are many other children who were also abducted from different parts of her county, whom they could talk in their native Lotuho language.

For his part, a native of Imurok Payam, Salva Oler, says the teenage girl was brought to his house by one of the women who met her wondering in town in search of anyone from her village.

“I would like the government to help me on how to help this young girl. Her parents need to be traced so that they can be re-united,” he stated, adding that he has reported the case to police station in Kapoeta town.

Abduction of women and children are common practice in South Sudan. Women and girls are abducted to give birth, boys to be trained as warriors and to join inter-communal fighting and cattle raiding.