Pagak, June 4, 2017 (SSNA) — The leaders of Gaatjaak of Jikany Nuer have passed a resolution endorsing a campaign of what they described as a “scorched-earth campaign” after a group of armed militias believed to be backed by Juba attacked their areas, the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has learned.
The SSNA obtained records confirming that leaders of all six sections of the Gaatjaak Nuer secretly met on the 1st of June in Pagak, just a few days after a well-armed militia group attacked their areas.
At the meeting venue, the leaders of Gaatjak demanded that the South Sudan News Agency “publish only what they want,” causing an intense debate between the SSNA crews and the local leaders.
As the meeting progressed, the lead person (name withheld) who managed the meeting publicly branded the attack as “government-sponsored,’ claiming, “If you want to attack the Greater Gaatjaak Community, then come with your own body bag.”
The meeting was dominated by angry young men who kept shouting, “Those who attacked Gaatjaak land will regret it.”
About an hour after the meeting began, top SPLA-IO Generals joined the meeting. A few minutes after the armed opposition Generals arrived, Lt. General Peter Thok Chuol Luak who was visibly angry was led to the podium.
“Infiltrating Gaatjaak land will never succeed. If you are a supporter of Kiir and wants to attack Gaatjaak places, then your pass to success is zero, Luak declared.
“Our young men tough them a lesson they will never forget,” he asserted, adding, “I don’t think anyone who survived the mighty Gaatjaak sons will return to attack us.”
“We will wage a scorched-earth campaign against anyone who tries to attack us,” he warned.
“If you are a Juba man and thinks you can succeed in Gaatjaak land, then you are wrong,” he asserted. Adding, “try it at your own risk.”
On May 29, a militias group believed to be from Gaatjiok Nuer launched surprise attacks on several Gaakjaak territories, leaving a score of dead civilians. The fighting ended on or about June 1st.
Leaders of the United States-based Jikany Nuer Community (JNC-UA) told the South Sudan News Agency that they are working days and nights to make sure that the Greater Jikany Nuer remains united. One leader who demanded anonymity described the attackers as “thieves who were bribed by Salva kiir and Taban Deng Gai.”
“I am happy that the thieves were told by the Gaatjaak sons and daughters that their thieving camping will never succeed,” he asserted.
The SSNA management is currently negotiating with the Gaatjjak leaders to release full minutes of the Pagak meeting.