AUTHOR: Clement Otto Anthony | PUBLISHED: May 15, 2023
Lilu Bula and EES Governor Louis Lobong shake hands during a photo shoot in Kapoeta | Credit | Clement Otto/TRC
A former abductee from the Greater Pibor Administrative Area has called upon youth to shun violence and begin to live in peace and harmony with neighbors.
Lilu Bula, who was abducted with her three children in Gumuruk County of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area early this year, appeared in Eastern Equatoria State last week.
The 32-year-old told Singaita FM on Sunday that she was ordered by abductors to help them carry her children to Jonglei State. By then youth from the Lou Nuer area had attacked Pibor in what they claimed was a revenge.
Shortly after arriving in the supposed abductors’ area, she said they asked her to return home without the children.
Unfamiliar with the terrain, she set off on foot, wandering in the forests till she appeared in Wokobo Payam in Kapoeta North County.
Lilu appealed to the youth of greater Pibor to stop revenge killings and child abduction.
“I am telling you the youth of Murle to stop fighting; fighting is not good. People think I am dead but I am still alive, in the hands of the people we call our enemies,” she said.
“At that time, I wanted to kill myself but I left everything to God because I hope that one day I will get back my children alive.”
Lilu went on to appealed to the government of greater Pibor to find ways on how to trace and return her children.
For his part, the governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Louis Lobong, appreciated the people of Kapoeta North County for taking good care of her.
“We are going to hand her over to the administration of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area,” he said.
Lobong revealed that some “bitter” members of the community in Kapoeta North wanted to kill her while others opposed the idea of returning her.
“There were people who were bitter; they wanted to kill her and rob her from the people who got her from the bush. But eventually, they listened and handed the lady to the government in good condition,” the governor explained.
Lobong also urged the government of greater Pibor Administrative area to recover all the abducted children from Eastern Equatoria so that they are re-united with their families.
Abductions 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.