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Tombura – The situation of 15,000 internally displaced persons in Tombura alone is becoming more serious every day, said Kia Moses, representative of the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace who, along with other representatives of humanitarian organizations, spent five days in the city of Western Equatoria state to assess the situation following the ongoing tribal clashes.
In the note sent to Agenzia Fides by the diocese of Tombura-Yambio, we read of attacks, looting, killings, arsons and rape that have forced many residents to flee their homes. “The situation is also risky in terms of health and educational interference since the classrooms of St. Mary’s elementary school are used by displaced people at night for sleeping and during the day by students for learning activities”.
The humanitarian team has yet to reach Rii-Yubu Payam, three miles from the border of the Central African Republic and 24 miles in the western part of Tombura County. The city was severely affected, as was Tombura, and armed groups stormed the villages of Akpa, Mabenge, Gbatanzere and Kpatanayo. More than 30 community members in the region have been abducted by the armed group and their whereabouts are unknown.
“We do not know exactly what concrete solutions have been developed by local, state and national governments to end the insecurity in Tombura County, but the current situation is catastrophic”, said the representative of CODEP.
CODEP, the humanitarian wing of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, as well as other national humanitarian and non-governmental organizations were able to learn about the situation, which showed that the total number of displaced people in Tombura are 15,512 divided in three different locations: 5,074 at St. Mary Tombura Catholic Church and St. Mary Primary School; 2,874 in the Adeesa group complex and 7,564 housed in Gamunakpe.
As the note sent to Fides shows, on July 7, 2021, the governor of the state of Western Equatoria, Lieutenant General Alfred Futuyo Karaba, accused four politicians from Juba of fueling insecurity in the state. This did not fail to elicit a reaction from Deputy State Governor Gaaniko Kennedy, who publicly denounced Governor Futuyo’s comments on the radio, calling the accusations false. This accusatory climate only increases the concern of citizens who do not see solutions to the problem.