At least five people have reportedly been killed and scores of others abducted by suspected Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in South Sudan, raising fears of renewed violence by the weakened rebel group.
A Ugandan working with Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), an International NGO in Yambio in South Sudan told local media on Friday that the attack on November 6th occurred in Ezo.
The source who declined to be named because they are not allowed to talk to the media said that rebels attacked the area around noon also looted several properties and set several houses on fire.
She said several humanitarian agencies have suspended field work in the area and those neighbouring it for fear of attack.
Invisible Children, a non-governmental organization that works to protect communities from LRA’s militia, says it is investigating the reports.
Jolly Grace Okot, the Invisible Children Regional Ambassador, said they have received reports that the attacks occurred in separate areas of Nabaria and Ezo all in South Sudan.
She says they received reports that on November 6th, a local militia group known as the Arrow Boys pursued the assailants. She said six abducted men were released shortly thereafter, but it is unknown what became of the three abducted women.
The brutal gang on Thursday further attacked Ezo, also in South Sudan, where it abducted at least three people. Okot says the report indicates that the assailants also set fire to multiple houses and looted various unspecified goods from the town. Of the three people they abducted, two were released, and one was killed in the forest.
Uganda and United States military forces have since 2009 been pursuing LRA in the jungles of DRC and Central African Republic (CAR) where the remnants of the militia that killed thousands in Northern Uganda, are suspected to be hiding.