Gunmen in South Sudan today morning ambushed three Uganda-bound buses: Friendship, Eco and Gateway, burning Eco bus to ashes and looting the more than 200 occupants of the other buses of their valuables. The incident took place at Alur junction in South Sudan.
More than 21 people were reportedly killed in the incident. Both Dinka and Equatorian intellectuals and leaders condemned the incident saying that the attack on the civilians in the convoy was “cowardly”, “barbaric” and unpatriotic. Some warned that the incident would fuel ethnic hatred in the country.
Radio Tamazuj, quotes South Sudan traffic police sources and immigration officers in Nimule town and in Juba saying that three commercial vehicles carrying passengers and travelling in a convoy have came under attack on this morning when men wielding automatic rifles emerged by the road side and pointed guns at busses, forcing them to stop. The buses were attacked along the Juba-Nimule Highway from Juba when they were attacked 50km from Juba near Jebellein. One bus, according to police sources, was instantly burnt while two others were stopped and looted before the attackers fled the scene.
The incident is the latest of a series of attacks on this same high way. It is one of the events that threatened the safety of the travelers and reduced the number of the users as well as the level of commercial activities.
Past incidents have seen foreign nationals becoming the victims of roadside attack and head on collision between buses traveling from opposite directions.
Some SPLM-IO leaders also condemned the incident , denying responsibility for the ambush.
Mabior Garang, the SPLM-IO spokesman said “condemns in the strongest terms the killing of innocent civilians on the highways of South Sudan…the SPLM (IO) has no policy of killing civilians…this alarming situation should be investigated and the criminals held accountable.”