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Church leader asks Juba to address Malakal targeted killings

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Friday, November 6, 2020

The Paramount Chief of Malakal, Adam Ajak, shortly after he was attended to by a nurse on Thursday, October 22, 2020. He is one of the latest victims of targeted attacks and killings | Credit | Courtesy

The Bishop of the Catholic Church of Malakal has called upon the national government to look into what appears to be targeted killings and attacks in Malakal town.

“The national government in Juba should look into the issues of Malakal. Malakal cannot be left like that. People cannot be left like that to suffer in that way,” Dr. Stephen Nyodho told Eye Radio.

His plea comes after the killing of two prominent people in Malakal town three days ago.

On Tuesday, Brigadier General Arop Okew of the SSPDF and peace activist, Juliano Ambrose, were shot dead while returning home from a market in Malakal.

Four months ago, Thomas Aban Akol, the then public prosecutor was killed by armed assailants in the area. The culprits are yet to be publicly identified and prosecuted.

And just last month, ten traditional chiefs, including the Paramount Chief of Malakal, were severely beaten by some youth over a land dispute there.

All the victims are from one ethnic group in the state.

Dr. Nyadho blamed the growing crime rates in Upper Nile State to the absence of state governor.

“I would like to ask the government and specially our president to speed up the appointment of the governor, because without the governor, all these things will continue to happen,” he added.

It has been about three months now since President Salva Kiir appointed nine governors and three chief administrators.

The main opposition group, SPLM-IO submitted the name of Gen. Johnson Olony as its preferred candidate for the gubernatorial post, a nomination President Salva Kiir rejected.

His office described Olony as an active soldier who has not fully subjected himself to the political development in Juba, and is not “within territories that are controlled by SPLM-IO or by the government.” Olony is reportedly in Khartoum, Sudan.

But some observers questioned the presidential motive, citing the appointment of the governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal while she was still in the United States.

The SPLM-IO has also maintained that it still wants Johnson Olony as governor for Upper Nile State.

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