Unity State laughs off rebels’ threat to oil fields
Days after a devastating attack that led to the gruesome killing of over 10 people, the government of Unity State alleviated fears that the rebels had hijacked control of the oil fields.
The Bentiu administration said the oil fields were ‘‘safe and 100 per cent under the control of the government.’’
The State Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, David Gai Jeguir, who also serves as the state minister of information, said the security situation had returned to normalcy after an attack in Mayom County by the rebels last week.
Twelve people, including the Mayom County commissioner, Chuol Gatluak Manime, died in the attack. Twelve others were also wounded.
Speaking to The City Review yesterday, Jeguir called on the citizens in the state to remain calm.
“The state government is working now to ensure that the security situation is stable and under control.”
He said the state government is committed to protecting the oil production areas effectively and will deal with anything that can threaten the lives of workers and residents in the state.
“I assure employees and workers working in the oil fields to stay and continue in their places of work because the state government has a sufficient army that can protect the lives of everyone living in the Unity State, and the production and export of the country’s oil must continue as it was.”
This comes after the leader of the South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPM/SSPA), Gen. Stephen Buay Rolnyang, issued a statement last week urging oil workers in Unity State’s Tharjiath and Unity oilfields to vacate the areas, warning that the government would not protect them.
“The SSPM/SSPA is hereby cautioning the international oil workers in Western Upper Nile and Upper Nile regions to be evacuated immediately within one week to avoid being caught in the crossfire because the regime could not guarantee their safety,” Buay said in a statement posted on social media.
Wuor Keah, the press secretary of the late Mayom commissioner, was quoted by Radio Tamazuj as saying that the rebel forces allied with Gen. Guay attacked the residence of the deceased and killed him and his three bodyguards before setting the house on fire.
“There is a group of rebels who came and attacked the home of the commissioner and there are a lot of deaths, including the honourable commissioner of Mayom, Chuol Gatluak,” Keah said.
“The commissioner was killed alongside three of his guards and many soldiers were wounded.” We will let you know when we get more information. “
The government dispatched a contingent of army officers on Friday to secure the area after the attack. But no suspect has been apprehended.
“The state government is working now to ensure that the security situation is stable and under control.”- Unity State Minister of Information.