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Jonglei dispatches forces to disputed fishing island

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Friday, December 6, 2019

A village in the swamps of the White Nile near Bor, Jonglei | Credit | File photo

Jonglei State government has reportedly sent forces to the disputed island of Chuei-akuet to quell the situation following communal clashes there.

On Thursday, the deputy governor of Eastern Lakes State told Eye Radio that 86 people had gone missing after the fishing island was attacked on Wednesday.

Chuei-akuet Fishing Island is being claimed by both communities from Twic area in Jonglei and Eastern Lakes State.

The deployment comes after the two state governors of Jonglei and Eastern Lakes states agreed to calm the situation.

The minister of information in Jonglei state told Eye Radio on Friday that the commissioner of Juorwac County went with forces to calm the situation, and to find out what sparked the conflict.

“The commissioner of the area from Jonglei State left yesterday [Thursday] with some forces from here to go there and find out what exactly happened because we don’t want to be hearing rumors. We want to listen or rather to find out from the source of the problem,” Atong Kuol Manyang said.

But the deputy governor of Eastern Lakes State said the situation is “still tense”.

Taban Abel said the whereabouts of the missing people remain unknown.

“Up to now, we don’t know what has exactly happened because it’s deep in the Nile and it’s an Island and it has no network,” Abel stated.

“We don’t know whether these people have managed to come out alive or some of them have been killed.”

Charakuet Island is situated in a remote area with no mobile network coverage.

In October this year, a group of armed fishermen clashed with youth groups from the two states over ownership of the same island.

It’s unclear how the reported clashes erupted two months after some SSPDF soldiers were deployed on the disputed islands to maintain peace there.

The revitalized peace agreement established body the Independent Boundaries Commission to consider the number of States, their boundaries and the composition and restructuring of the Council of States.

But parties to the agreement are yet to agree on the number and boundaries of states.

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