Attack in Pajok kills and displaces South Sudanese citizens

Thousands flee to neighbouring Uganda as armed forces attack  Thousands flee to neighbouring Uganda as armed forces attack James Akena/ Reuters

7 June 2017
On April 3rd, the South Sudanese town of Pajok was attacked by armed forces, leading to more than 6,000 people fleeing from South Sudan into Uganda.

A report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)  states that those who were fleeing  claimed Pajok was indiscriminately attacked by South Sudan forces. Auma Lucy Yubuan, a woman who escaped the attack, stated that the soldiers had looted, broken doors, killed and beaten people. Many of the residents had to hide in the bushes to stay safe. Those who could not run, such as the elderly and the disabled, were shot dead.

This attack occurred after fighting between government forces and rebels erupted, following a  recent surge in conflict throughout the past few months. Pajok is a town in South Sudan’s Equatorial region, which was previously a more peaceful part of the country. However after recent attacks, a UNHCR spokesperson stated “this spreading of violence signifies a worrying development”.

In addition to the large influx of South Sudanese refugees that have fled to Uganda’s Lamwo district, there are at least 4,500 refugees that are still waiting together at the border.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has stated that it has been prevented from helping Pajok twice. The UNMISS is trying to follow up on the reports of the civilians who were killed in that area, urging the government to allow it access. The UNMISS mission aim is to “fully implement its mandate, including to protect civilians and report on human rights violations.”


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