News: South Sudan Murle militia kill two people, kidnap two children in Gembella region cross border attack

Commissioner of the Regional Police Commission, Senai Akuwor, Photo: Gambella region press secretariat

Addis Abeba – The police commission of the Gembella regional state said that two people were killed and two children were abducted after cross border attack by South Sudanese Murle militia in the border areas of the Dima Woreda, Akugu refugee camp in Gambella regional state. One person was also injured in the attack and is receiving medical treatment.

According to the Commissioner of the Regional Police Commission, Senai Akuwor, the attack happened when the Murle militiamen who crossed the border opened fire at the refugee camp on Monday 08 August at around 10:30 PM local time.

Currently, the Gambella state special forces and local militia are providing security to the area with a focus on finding the perpetrators. The police commissioner said the region was coordinating with federal security forces and urged the community to support the local government’s security measures against the aggressors and to actively protect the area to prevent similar attacks from happening.

Similar cross border attacks by armed men from neighboring South Sudan happen too often in the region. In April last year, the regional state in collaboration with South Sudan’s Puchala district repatriated three children and two women who were kidnapped from the region by South Sudanese Murle armed. They were part of the 275 children kidnapped children between 2015 and 2020. Among the kidnapped, members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) were able to return more than 200 of them.

After a relative calm between 2020 and 2021, In February this year, the Murle militiamen attacked a refugee camp and Gog woreda in the Gambella Region, killing one person and injuring two others. Three children were also abducted during the cross border raid.

It came in the backdrop of yet another cross border attack in January this year by the same armed group which left eight people dead and five others injured in Bakankan Kebele located in Akobo woreda of the Nuer zone.

In April 2016, more than 200 people were killed and more than 140 children abducted in what is so far known as the deadliest cross border raid in Gambella region by armed men from South Sudan, triggering the Ethiopian army to cross into South Sudan and rescue most of the abducted children. AS

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