Several houses burn down, five abducted at Lowoi Payam in Torit

Local authorities in Lowowi Payam of Torit County in Eastern Equatoria say a group of unknown armed men have burned several houses and abducted five people on Sunday evening.

A local area chief says the armed men wearing military uniforms stormed the village at around 6 pm and torched houses.

Chief Marino Taban of Kudo says three people of the five have been released but don’t know the other two are still missing.

“The whole village of Dabur in Lowoi is burnt to the ground, the also abducted five people, three Acholi, have been released, but the other two are from Lowoi, and their whereabouts are not known.”

Taban says they did not hurt or kill anyone except the houses that the attackers have torched.

Gudio Omiji, an eyewitness, says people of Dabur have fled the village and now camping on the other side of the mountains and have no food and water.

“The people have scattered in the bushes, people are suffering, even those who used to cut bamboo all have run away from the village.”

Omiji says they are unsure if those abducted are still alive or dead.

Atilio Albano is the police officer and investigator at Kon-English police station. He says they have heard a report about the incident at Dabur villages but have not responded because they lack fuel for the vehicle to transport the forces to go and see the place.

“The challenge we are facing is the issue of fuel because the place where the incident happened cannot be reached by foot without a vehicle”.

Albano says they sent someone to Torit to bring fuel for the vehicle, but that person has not returned.

“We always hire motorbikes for us to assess how the incident happened, but according to the civilians, they say it’s the government forces who burned their village.”

Hon. Mathew Tombe Nehemia is the security advisor in Eastern Equatoria state. He condemned the attack and destruction of properties. Tombe says they will hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to book.

“The government is investigating the attack to find the criminals and bring them to justice.”

He urges the communities to remain calm as they investigate the incident.

The chairperson of the Lokoya community Emmanuel Justine says he is saddened by the incident and appealed to the state government to intervene and rescue the situation urgently.