Nov. 13, 2016, Since about 2006 the Dinka Bor community found Lobonok and its people an easy target for settlement along with their cattle. The people of Lobonok were no longer war-like as their forefathers. The Dinka Bor cattle-keepers therefore found it an easy place for their ambitions to expand their settlement areas. From early on there was an uneasiness brought about by the gun-toting cattle-keepers harassing the locals, kidnapping children (8 by 2011), destroying crops, fishnets, and snares for the wild animals that also destroy their crops.
Early this year (2016) matters came to a head when a section of the cattlemen began to place cattle pegs in a field of cassava in the Southern tip of Lobonok Payam. When the locals inquired as to why they were doing this they were rebuffed by being told to harvest their cassava and their dura as this was now a cattle-camp. This infuriated the few youths and a series of battles took place that eventually drove out the Dinka Bor. In August, a large contingent of heavily armed civilians mixed with men in uniform invaded Lobonok – killing some youths they found along the Juba-Lobonok road, then burned homes in Sindiru, killing and injuring several; next they did the same in Morsak, with several murders there including that of an elderly couple, too old to escape, burnt in their hut. It is during this invasion that my own home in Morsak suffered two constructions burned down (a payot, and the food store) as well as breaking of the window glasses of the main house. This action brought about the displacement of all the survivors of the villages from Sindiru through Nyarjwa, Morsak, Worduk, Lobonok centre all moving to James Wani Igga’s village of Tobidyang to seek protection there. Apart from a group doing emergency assistance, I am not aware that the UN sent an official body to investigate this unprovoked invasion.
Now, (November 2016) the Lobonok communities have discovered plans by Bor Dinka to carry out barbaric acts in Lobonok – to include killing and displacement of all natives of Lobonok Payam (now County under the 28-state plan). The ultimate objective is said to be to carry out these acts of barbarism in order to take over the land for settlement by people of Dinka-Bor. Lest this is taken as mere scare mongering, they (Bor Dinka) are currently training their boys around Kaya River area under the support and guidance of their sons in the army as they prepare for this attack.
This plan seems to be coming close to execution especially after these Bor Dinka last met in Gumbo Serikat on the 07 November 2016 under the chair of Bor cattle camp chiefs Mr. Tong Alier and Mr. Malual Machar, and some of their sons and daughters in the army and government. In this meeting contributions of arms and ammunition were made. This included 125 PKMs, 20 RPGs and big caches of ammunition. (One Lt. Col. Marial was also present in this very meeting but the chief advised that his name not be included in their minutes for obvious reasons.)
Therefore, the big question that remains in everybody’s mind is: Are these weapons in the possession of the army of the country for the defense of its people? If so, then why should they be used to displace and kill people and destroy properties as it happened in Lobonok in August 2016 and with the same act being planned again? In my own mind the big question is, does the international community also shrug its shoulders and simply write this off as “their problem”?