Kisii village dealt blow as over 200 residents trapped in S Sudan

BY JAMES MBAKA

KISII, KENYA: The situation in South Sudan that has sunk into war has greatly affected a village in Kisii County.

Residents of Bomoseri village in Bomachoge, Kisii County will not be celebrating Christmas with over 200 of its people trapped in the skirmishes.

To them, the build-up to Christmas celebrations were rudely cut short a week ago after news reached them that war had broken up in the world’s youngest nation.

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“The situation here is so tense and dangerous we can’t walk out following a curfew imposed by the government, we have ran out of food and accessing water is a nightmare,” Kenyatta Omambia told The Standard from Bor in Tonglei estate where over 60 people from Magenche village are stranded. They mainly work in oil fields the rebel soldiers are announced to have taken over.

Sporadic gunfire

He said there has been sustained sporadic gunfire in the last three days, but that eased Monday evening. “It is extremely serious I cannot imagine getting out of here, to me that is a farfetched dream. I have no information about my family but all we have remained with are prayer sessions,” Omambia said.

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The father of three says they are currently locked up in a compound as the skirmishes rage on with little hope of survival in the middle of heavy gunfire.

Evans Ombaso, a villager from Mokubo in Bomachoge told The Standard from Bor that communication had been cut off completely since last Saturday. We managed to reach him through a friend engineer’s satellite mobile phone with roaming network on Monday night. “I am surprised you have managed to reach me, there has been no network here for a week now,” Ombaso said as he narrated the ordeal they are going through.

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“I believe that before the soldiers get hold of us, we may die of hunger and thirst because water supply has been cut off and the little food we had is are already exhausted,” Ombaso, who went to South Sudan in July last in search of menial jobs to eke a living told The Standard.

The family of Mbaka Ayioka, still from Bomoseri village, is in shock and despair after waiting for days for their son, Daniel Mbaka, who travelled to the war-torn nation some six months ago.

“We have not been in touch with him since we heard of the skirmishes. We have no idea of his whereabouts. Our hope hangs by a thread each day we wake up,” Ayioka, 89, told The Standard at his home.

Distraught families

The octogenarian cuts the face of many distraught families in Bomachoge whose members travelled to South Sudan in search of jobs.

Albert Nyaundi, an architect based in South Sudan and a pioneer contractor, is a villager from Magenche and has been in the forefront in urging the young people from the village to travel abroad in search of employment.

He first took some 18 youths to Juba in 2006 and employed them in his two construction companies, NA Projects International and Woodlands.

However, the number of youths seeking jobs in the now-war ravaged nation has been soaring by the day.

“Some of the youths I helped get jobs in Juba have moved their friends and relatives and they are there in large numbers,” engineer Nyaundi told The Standard by phone.

He said the situation in Tonglei State was particularly dangerous since there was no stable communication.

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South Sudan Bomachoge Bor