Official accuses politicians of fueling Kapoeta conflict
AUTHOR: Clement Otto | PUBLISHED: August 29, 2023
Lokaii Lokai - a victim of the intercommunal conflict in greater Kapoeta - speaks with relatives after nurses treated him for gunshot wounds at the Kapoeta Civil Hospital on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 | Credit | Elizabeth Lochapio/Singaita FM
The SPLM state secretary in Eastern Equatoria has accused the politicians of facilitating the road ambushes along Torit-Kapoeta highway to serve their interest against the state leadership.
German Charles Ojok made the accusation during the handing over of the SPLM motorbikes to the greater Kapoeta counties on Saturday in Kapoeta town.
“There are some leaders behind the insecurity, which is happening here – along the highway. We have heard about that,” Ojok said.
Since early July, there have been reports of deadly road ambushes along the Torit-Kapoeta road and revenge attacks in Kapoeta South and Budi counties.
So far, about 15 people have been killed and several others injured in the intercommunal conflict, which some politicians attributed to a foiled cattle raid in Machi, Kapoeta South.
“The insecurity in Machi is not the wish of village youth to do that. The people responsible for the conflict are people here in the town. They call on the youth in the village to loot and attack vehicles along the highway,” he asserted.
Ojok did not disclose the names of the politicians but appealed to all the SPLM supporters and communities living along the highway to distance themselves from any politicians who want to cause insecurity through ambushes along the roads.
He believes that the attacks are fueled by politicians working against the administration of Louis Lobong, the state governor – a Toposa.
“People will say the government of Toposa is the one behind the insecurity because the government is in their hands,” Ojok added.
Weeks after clashes intensified, Governor Lobong set up a committee tasked with finding the root causes of the conflict. Though the investigation had 10 days to present its findings to the cabinet and state parliament, nothing is known about the report, as of today.