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South Sudan: Separated by conflict

Pibor County in South Sudan experienced a large-scale attack on 31 December 2011, killing more than 3,000 people and displacing tens of thousands.

A spate of retaliatory attacks continued throughout January 2012, displacing over 120,000 people in Jonglei State.

Abel, three, was separated from his parents during the recent violence.

Abel’s village was destroyed and Abel witnessed his father and grandparents being killed during the attack.

This is Abel’s story.

“When people were fighting I heard the sound of guns. And I saw people holding guns and shooting at people. I saw some buildings burning. I saw some flames and heard a lot of shouting. Then all of a sudden I saw many people rushing.

“When I heard this and saw a lot of fires break out, I cried and sat down somewhere. It was during the day, and even the smoke was disturbing me. It was hot. At first I was with my mother, father and grandparents.

Tukuls (mud and thatch homes) burnt down in Likuangole, Pibor County. Pibor County experienced a large-scale attack on 31 December 2011, killing more than 3,000 and displacing tens of thousands. A spate of retaliatory attacks continued throughout January, now displacing over 120,000 people.
Tukuls (mud and thatch homes) burnt down.

“After the burning, I heard more shootings. After that I didn’t see my father or mother, so I stayed alone. After the shooting and the burning houses, I was so thirsty and hungry. Last time [there was a violent attack on his village], this place [on my back] was painful. I was burned by fire.

Please help children like Abel caught up in conflict – donate to our Emergency Fund.

3-year-old Ulu shows where he was burned during a violent attack on his village in Pibor County, Jonglei state. Ulu was separated from his mother and grandparents and brought to Juba by UNMISS during an evacuation of the area. He is currently staying at his relatives' home in Juba. Save the Children staff in Pibor are working to locate Ulu's mother and oldest uncle, and send him back home. Pibor County experienced a large-scale attack on 31 December 2011, killing more than 3,000 and displacing tens of thousands. A spate of retaliatory attacks continued throughout January, now displacing over 120,000 people.
Abel shows where he was burned during a violent attack on his village.

“When I was there, I saw people like you [foreigners]. I still remember, yes. I don’t remember clearly who found me, but I came to my senses and there was somebody who helped me. But I didn’t know the name of the person. I was given some drinks, medicine and clothes.

“Now I’m here at this home. I’m given food here. I’m told that if I go out alone here, I’ll get lost. I stay with my uncle called Muolo.

3 year old Ulu with his uncle Bal and extended relatives, in Juba.
Three-year-old Abel with his uncle and extended relatives.

“When they say my mother is alive, then I will go to mama. Yes, it makes me happy. Let mama come first, let mama come. You have to take me to my mother. Go and look for her, so that she doesn’t get lost. Go and tell her that her son is looking for her. I want to go home and play with those of Melethin [siblings], and those of Kalacha [friends].”

3-year-old Ulu is separated from his mother after witnessing a violent attack on his village in Pibor County, Jonglei state. Ulu was separated from his parents and grandparents and brought to Juba by UNMISS during an evacuation of the area. He is currently staying at his relatives' home in Juba. Save the Children staff in Pibor are working to locate Ulu's mother and oldest uncle, and send him back home. Pibor County experienced a large-scale attack on 31 December 2011, killing more than 3,000 and displacing tens of thousands. A spate of retaliatory attacks continued throughout January, now displacing over 120,000 people.
Save the Children staff are working to locate Abel's mother and oldest uncle, and send him back to his home.

Listen to Abel singing

Abel’s mother is still missing, and said to be alive. His sister and brother are confirmed to be alive, and are with his father’s older brother.

Abel is currently staying with his younger uncle, Muolo. Muolo is 24 and is waiting to complete his primary education. He’s  worried that he won’t be able to complete his studies since the local Primary School was burned down.

Read part 2 of Abel’s story | Read part 3 of Abel’s story
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the family involved.

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