Suspected bandits ambushed a civilian vehicle traveling from Panadier to Rumbek (Lakes state) on Monday evening, September 7, killing two. The vehicle was ambushed in Liet-heer, roughly 3 km (1.5 mi) away from Rumbek, and reports indicate that six civilians were traveling in the vehicle, but four managed to escape the attack. The motive for the attack was not immediately clear; however, one of those killed was reportedly a Sub-Chief. The identity of the attackers was also not immediately known.
Further roadside bandit attacks are likely in the near term.
Overland travel in all areas of South Sudan is hazardous. Banditry and lawlessness are common in remote regions, particularly along the borders with the DRC and Central African Republic. Violent crime in such areas often targets foreign nationals and there have been reports of foreign aid workers being victims of kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking and murder. Criminal and militant ambushes occur regularly on roads in isolated parts of the country as well as on routes leading to Juba. The Juba-Nimule road and other routes near the border with Uganda have seen a particularly high number of attacks on convoys and single vehicles in recent years.
Due to the high threat of violent crime, all travel to South Sudan should be subject to a thorough localized threat assessment and undertaken in coordination with a trusted security provider. Travelers are advised to subject all travel, particularly to remote and rural areas, to strict journey management protocols. Avoid travel at night, vary routines, and maintain a heightened sense of situational awareness. Monitor local media sources to remain apprised of security-related developments and adhere to any directives issued by local authorities.
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