Jonglei State authorities on Wednesday handed over to Pibor authorities 48 children and 17 women who were abducted in Lekuangole and Gumumurk counties in December 2022.
“The government of Jonglei State has handed over 65 abductees to Pibor authorities through UNMISS and other partners,” said John Manyuon, state information minister.
Some of the children – 25 girls and 23 boys – were as young as eight months old. The oldest was 15.
Accompanied by Akech Deng, deputy governor of Jonglei, and UNMISS representatives, the 17 women were flown to Pibor.
This brings to 71 the number of abductees the state government has rescued and returned to Pibor this month, after it handed over six children last week.
Manyuon called upon the government of Greater Pibor Administrative Area to reciprocate the good gesture by identifying and returning abducted Jonglei women and children.
He said said the handing over of abducted children and women by Jonglei State Authorities is the demonstration of the state’s commitment to the 2021 agreement signed by the two governments.
The deal obligates Jonglei and Pibor to return abducted women, children, and cattle.
For his part, the information minister of Greater Pibor Administrative Area, Abraham Kelang, confirmed the arrival of 65 abductees, saying they were “handed over to our government”.
Kelang promised that his government will trace abductees from Jonglei state and do the same.
Gumuruk clashes where 48 children, and 17 women were abducted also claimed more than 50 lives and displaced 30,000 civilians according to the authorities.
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