Following the Gambella cattle raid which saw some men who were allegedly unconnected to the South Sudan government or the rebel group abduct some women and about 125 children, Ethiopian troops have crossed the border to save them.
The number of soldiers who went on the rescue mission has been undisclosed. However reports claim that just a few days short of the abduction, the army have located the children in areas of Jior and Kok and they will soon be rescued. This correlates with Ethiopia’s minister for communications Getachew Reda who announced that, “the army has been conducting reconnaissance missions in South Sudan and they have a clear idea of where the children are.”
South Sudanese acting Foreign Minister, Peter Bashir Gbandi told AP that he knew the instigators of the raid. Although he stated that South Sudanese troops have been positioned to find the attackers, he likewise added that Ethiopian troops will not be permitted to carry out raids in search of the attackers without prior approval from the capital.
The Dinka and Nuer tribes who are the two other dominant tribes in South Sudan believe the attackers to be Murle herdsmen who wanted the children to raise the 2000 head of cattle that was stolen.
However governor of South Sudan’s Boma State ( home to the Murle and other tribes), Mr. Baba Medan pointed his fingers at the Cobra sect. The sect are a rebel militia who became a part of South Sudan’s government in 2013 – they consist of the Murle and Anyuak tribes.
Former leader of the Cobra sect, David Yau Yau denied the allegations and accused the governor whom he believed armed the groups that were responsible for the rebellion in Ethiopia.
The EU, UNICEF, and US have all condemned the attack while resident of the Gambella region held a rally to ask for the release of the abducted.