UNMISS has conducted a number of patrols from Torit to Pajok, with an overnight stop over at Magwi, this past week. The integrated Patrols comprised of peacekeepers, humanitarians, human rights observers and members of the State Legislature. Speaking to Radio Miraya, the UNMISS spokesperson said that the team discovered two unburied bodies and one grave.
David Dickinson, the UNMISS spokesperson, said that the town of Pajok is still militarized. The civilians interviewed by the patrol accused the SPLA of looting several houses, government offices and a health facility. He called on the government to investigate this claims and hold the guilty party accountable.
The local authorities had on various occasions delayed the patrols but as of this Friday, the UNMISS patrol was hoping to reach Palotaka and Lelwa in the outside of the town. The UNMISS spokesperson called on the Government of South Sudan to respect the Status of Forces Agreement and grant access to UNMISS across the country.
The town of Pajok was under the control of SPLA-IO since November last year when they dislodged the SPLA from the town. An SPLA offensive to take back the town, launched on 3rd April, caused a massive upheaval. The few remaining residents of the town are the sick and elderly, many civilians having fled into the nearby bushes and over six thousand crossing over the Uganda border according to UNHCR.
In a related story, The Daily Monitor, a Ugandan newspaper, reported that two rebel commanders surrendered to Ugandan Security officials in Northern Uganda. Maj Gen Benjamin Luboi and Brig Taban surrendered to Uganda People’s Defence Forces soldiers in Padibe Sub-county, Lamwo District, after fleeing from Imatong State in South Sudan. Ugandan security officials said Maj Gen Luboi was the SPLA-IO commander in charge of Pajok sector, in Pajok County, Imatong State.
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