• Family mourns loss of Sydney father reportedly killed in South Sudan

    Date: 2019.01.16 | Category: 上海按摩服务 | Tags:

    Many Australians are said to be trying to get out of a region in South Sudan where an Australian father of five has been reported killed.

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    Explainer: What’s going on in South Sudan?

    John Mach Achuek was working for a Sydney-based farming help group when he was caught up in ongoing violence between government and rebel forces in the Bor region.

    The Foreign Affairs Department says any other Australians in South Sudan should make urgent plans to leave, as the violence shows no signs of abating.

    Listen: Sydney father reportedly killed in South Sudan, Abby Dinham reports

    John Mach Achuek, who had been living in Australia, returned to the country of his birth in 2010, while his wife and five children remained behind in Sydney.

    He was working for the not-for-profit organisation “Life Through Livestock” which has been vaccinating cows from a fatal disease that had been decimating the region’s cattle population.

    But a brother in Sydney, Deng Adut, says he was also working independently to help civilians flee conflict areas.

    “On the day in question he was in the process of trying to get some people who were supposed to cross the river to the other side of the river from a place called Malou where his body was found,” Mr Adut says.

    “He was told not to go there, but unfortunately he went there and that’s when he was caught in the fire.”

    South Sudan and the Central African Republic: How you can help

    Mr Adut says because of ongoing violence in the area, his brother’s body was left laying in a shallow grave, covered in a blanket.

       

    Fighting erupted in the world’s youngest state on December 15 after Riek Machar, who was sacked as South Sudan’s vice president in July, was accused of attempting a coup against President Salva Kiir.

       

    The United Nations says thousands of people have been killed and more than 120,000 forced to flee their homes in the conflict.

       

    The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs says it has assisted in the evacuation of over 200 Australian people so far and says any Australians in the region to contact consular officials.

    Deng Adut says his brother knew the risks of working in the Bor region, but he was determined to help.

    “Anything he was doing he was trying to give back to give back to the community. His desire was to, for example,  make a difference, make changes, give back to the community, try to import Australia’s legal system and way of life back to the country.”

    Mr Adut says his brother’s family in Sydney are traumatised by the news of John Mach Achuek’s death.

    He says other family members still in South Sudan will attempt to recover his body for proper burial, and honour the life he gave in service of his countrymen.

    “He was using his money to take people, people were stranded in a place like Panpandia, take them outside to safety. If you don’t have any money to get to the other side of the river you are stranded and you will be killed.”

    ‘Innocent civilians killed in South Sudan violence’

    John Mach Achuek was a cousin of SBS Radio Dinka language executive producer, Ajak Deng Chiengkou.

    He has just returned from South Sudan, after he entered the strife-torn region to evacuate his mother who had gone into hiding when her village was destroyed.

    Mr Chiengkou says the situation in the region is extremely turbulent and innocent civilians are being killed.

    “Listening from my own mother when she was telling me that some of my own cousins and relatives that have already been perished and been killed and they cannot be buried. So the wild animals and the vultures have to feed on them so the situation is worse. It’s volatile.”

    Mr Chiengkou says he knows of many Australians who are still trapped in the region with their families, and are now attempting to reach the airport in Juba.

    Story Stream: Follow the latest developments in the South Sudan conflict

    He says December is a peak period for expatriates to return to the country, taking advantage of the December and January school holidays.

    “They save money for December. That’s when the time that you can go and introduce your children to your relatives and that’s the time that you can go and celebrate Christmas with your relatives.”

    Clashes have been reported in half of South Sudan’s 10 states, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension and both sides reportedly committing atrocities.

    The latest uproar is claimed to be the result of a coup against the President, but Ajak Deng Chiengkou says he blames corrupt government officials for what he calls senseless violence.

    “Everything that they were working for, the livestock that they have is now destroyed it is now looted. They have no government assistance and their lives are totally vulnerable and they will die of hunger.

    “The culprits of the crimes are the politicians themselves, not the tribes. The tribes aren’t the problem, the politicians are the problem.”

    DFAT urges Aussies to leave South Sudan

    In a statement to SBS, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was “aware of reports of the possible death of an Australian in South Sudan” and “consular officials are in touch with next of kin”.

    “The security situation in South Sudan remains exceptionally volatile,” the statement read.

    “We continue to strongly urge all Australians still remaining in South Sudan to leave immediately while commercial options are available. If it is not safe to depart, Australians in the country should take all precautions and stay indoors in a safe location with sufficient stocks of food and water.

    “The ability of the government to assist Australians in South Sudan is extremely limited. Nevertheless, we have assisted over 200 Australians to depart. Normal operations of commercial flights out of Juba have largely resumed. We strongly urge Australians still remaining in South Sudan to make urgent plans to leave without delay.

    “We strongly urge any Australians in South Sudan who require assistance to contact the Australian High Commission in Nairobi on +254 204 277 100 or the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305.”

    Watch: Extended interview with Deng Adut

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