• Alhadi Hawari

Malakal chiefs assaulted over planning dispute

Alhadi Hawari, Upper Nile State

Ten local chiefs— including the Paramount Chief of Malakal —have been brutally assaulted by unknown assailants in Upper Nile State. The chiefs were reportedly attacked in central Malakal town on Thursday. The chiefs were enroute to Malakal Airport to meet with authorities about a land dispute over the extension of the runway.

“The paramount chief and some chiefs were supposed to catch a bus to the venue [the airport]. But they decided to trek”, explained Onen Onak, a relative of the Paramount Chief.

“When they reached Malakal town, they were attacked by unidentified people in civilian clothes.”

With injuries resulting from being battered with sticks, the victims included Chief Adam Ajak and Chief Dak Arob.

The meeting was planned by Ajak Weir Lual, Secretary General of the. Upper Nile State, following a lengthy dispute between the local Chollo community and the state government over Malakal Airport’s runway extension.

However, it is not clear who— if anyone —sent the assailants. Their identity is currently unknown.

Early this year, a public prosecutor was killed by armed assailants in Malakal town. The culprits are also yet to be identified and prosecuted.

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