The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says it is saddened by the recent killing of two ethnic Nuba refugees in the Yei area of South Sudan and is concerned about the wellbeing of more than two dozen abducted children who are still missing.
In a press release on Friday, UNHCR pointed out that 39 refugees were abducted on 19 October, citing testimony of survivors. Later, on 5 November, a group of seven were released with their hands tied behind their backs but were attacked again whilst trekking to safety in Yei and two killed.
“The UN refugee agency is gravely concerned over the recent abduction and subsequent killing of refugees near the refugee hosting area of Lasu Payam. The fatal shooting and machete attack by armed groups killed two and wounded five Sudanese refugees from Sudan’s South Kordofan region.”
A witness who preferred not to be named told Radio Tamazuj, “We have people who were kidnapped by gunmen and they were detained for 18 days, but they were freed later and allowed to leave. So after they left, they were again attacked and two of them were killed and five others were injured.”
UNHCR confirmed this saying, “One refugee was shot dead and six others cut by machetes. Before reaching Yei town on foot, one refugee bled to death from their wounds. UNHCR has airlifted the five wounded refugees to Juba for better medical treatment.”
The refugee agency says that currently four women and 28 children are still in captivity in an unknown location. “UNHCR is at present exerting efforts to obtain details about their whereabouts and their captors,” reads the press release.
Following these abduction and an earlier incident of a looting spree at the camp in September, thousands of refugee fled into dense forest areas and the refugee camp in the area is currently empty. The camp had hosted over 10,000 refugees.