Two women were killed as gunmen abduct three children in Jonglei state’s Bor county on Thursday, local authorities and a wounded surviver told the Sudan Tribune on Friday.

Amuor Ajith, who was wounded trying to prevent her son being abducted in Baidit, nurses her knee injured in Bor hospital, Jongeli state South Sudan. Dec. 17, 2010 (ST)

The incident occurred at Wun-akeei, a small village west of Baidit Payam at about 4pm on Thursday, said police officer Chol Achiek who the heads law enforcement agencies in Bor county.

Jonglei state assembly legislator, Kuol Bol Ayom, of Athoc North constituency where the incident occurred said the attack should be responded to by state authorities without delay.

“This is a barbaric attack and the state government should intervene fully to protect the innocent people as well as securing ground for the [south Sudan] referendum exercise,” said Kuol Bol.

Sudan’s south is due to vote on whether it wishes to secede from the north in a plebiscite agreed as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war.

“Such attacks block effort of reconciliation being undertaken by Jonglei state legislative assembly MPs [members of parliament] but we shall resist the criminals and their suppliers,” Bol said.

Nursing wound on her knee at Bor civil hospital, Amuor Ajith, who was injured in the attack that left her co-wife and a mother-in-law dead. Her son and two step sons were abducted.

“I tried to hold my child but they fired at me and pulled the boy away,” she said.

She described the abductors as people speaking a unique language.

Cattle rustling and child abduction are common in Jonglei state but in recent month, the scale of such attacks slowed.

In 2009, a significant number of people, estimated at over 2,000 by government officials, lost their lives in inter-tribal raiding and counter raiding. The state government denies that the clashes are tribal but rather due to limited resources and poverty.

Children abducted are rarely returned to their biological parents as government efforts to reach many areas is often futile partly due to poor roads.

Local police have indicated that the latest group of children abducted may not be reunited with their parents.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune by phone today, Bor county director of police, Chol Achiek, said that it will not be easy to rescue the children due to logistical constraints. He declined to elaborate on efforts being exerted to try locating the abducted children.