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From Training Ground to Terrorism: The Disturbing Tale of Armed Militias

Reports have emerged of a concerning incident involving armed militias in the Gambella Regional State of Ethiopia and the South Sudanese Anyuak home region of Pochalla. It is alleged that these Ethiopian Anyuak armed militias secretly crossed the border and obtained weapons and ammunition after undergoing three months of basic military training in Pochalla.

The military training took place in a covert location within the Anyuak home County of Pochalla and was allegedly supervised by Akot Lual, President Kiir’s envoy on the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), in collaboration with General David Yaw Yaw, a former Pibor Chief Administrator from the Murle community. General David Yaw Yaw’s militia has been known for conducting cross-border raids on Ethiopian territory and South Sudanese regions of Jonglei and Upper Nile.

According to reports, Akot Lual and David Yaw Yaw, who are said to be business partners, facilitated the movement, planning, and logistical support of the Ethiopian Anyuak armed militias from Pochalla, South Sudan, to the Gambella region of Ethiopia. The intention behind this transfer was reportedly to carry out acts of terrorism targeting a specific rival community, the Nuer.

Tragically, in recent incidents, the armed militants ambushed three public buses carrying women and children along the highway near Gambella city. They unleashed bombs and gunfire on the buses, resulting in the deaths of many innocent Nuer women and children. Two Oromo civilian drivers were also killed in an execution-style manner.

In another distressing event during the same week, the militants targeted five Nuer students on a bus traveling from Addis Ababa to Gambella. The students were pulled off the bus and executed in a manner characteristic of terrorist violence.

A confidential source within the South Sudanese security unit in the Pochalla area disclosed that the majority of the militias who participated in the military training were involved in these incidents. The situation is deeply concerning, and authorities in both Ethiopia and South Sudan are likely to respond urgently to address this cross-border threat.

Note: The information provided is based on reports and allegations, and further verification and investigation may be needed to confirm the accuracy and details of the events described.

The Black Examiner®.

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