Six unnamed Pibor children pose for a picture with Jonglei State government officials in Bor in January 2023. They had just been rescued from abductors in Jonglei | Credit | Courtesy
Authorities in Jonglei State say they are set to return to the Greater Pibor Administrative Area six abducted children they rescued from armed youth this week.
They are four girls between the ages of 10 and 15 and two boys, aged 5 years and 9 months.
They were abducted by some armed Jonglei’s youth during the attacks on Gumuruk and Lekuangole in the administrative area last week
The youth had reportedly launched the attacks in an attempt to retrieve their children and livestock that had been stolen by reported criminals from the GPAA.
However, they came back with the children the Jonglei State minister of information has declined to name.
“When the leadership of Jonglei learnt of the confrontation, we called back these youth and they listened to us,” John Manyuon said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“And when some of them entered through Anyidi Payam of Bor County with the children, the leadership managed to identify six children of them.”
He said the children, whom he declined to name, will first receive psychosocial support from health experts before they are returned to Pibor to reunite with their families.
The return of stolen children is in line with an agreement the two neighboring governments recently. It also obligates them to return stolen animals.
For his part, John Abula, deputy chief Administrator for Greater Pibor Administrative Area, lauded its counterpart, though many more women and girls are still missing after the attacks.
“As a government, we are aware of the greater Jonglei government’s commitment. We will stand with them and we will prevent any further bloodshed of our young men and women,” Abula told Mingkaman FM on Friday.
He revealed that there was still fighting in parts of Lekuangule County despite the withdrawal of Jonglei armed youth.
More than 50 people were reportedly killed and 10,000 others displaced in the series of attack in Gumuruk and Lekuangole in December 2022.