Jubek and Boma state governors unite to combat child abduction
A young girl by the name of Eshter Poni Madong was abducted from an area in Rajaf and taken to Gumuruk town, in Boma on the first of May this year. Nearly five months later, the governor of Jubek state, Augustino Jadala Wani, presides over an official ceremony bringing a case of the missing, to an end.
“This is a very big moment…this child is a precious human being, she was kidnapped by still unknown assailants, she vanished, was lost, like someone who had passed away,” Mr. Wani said.
Esther was returned to her parents in the presence of the governors of both Jubek and Boma, also present were several media houses, including Radio Miraya.
Her 35 year old mother, Mary Kiden, could barely control her happiness as she, and her child, were finally reunited.
“We, our family, have never had an easy life, we were destroyed as a family since my daughter was abducted. I was ever crying whenever my other children asked me where Esther was, but I always told them that God is in charge,” Ms. Kiden said.
Governor Wani said that this case is merely one amongst hundreds. He said that more than 600 children were taken from Jubek state to Boma state, and these incidents go back as far as a decade.
The Jubek governor believes that such criminal activity will continue unless the two state governments develop a common cooperative strategy to combat such heinous acts.
The governor of Boma state, Baba Midan, consented that these crimes occurred too often, and they are a priority for investigation. He went on to reveal that it is a specific group of individuals that tend to partake in such acts without government’s approval.
“As a governor, it is very painful to see a child like this being taken,” Governor Midan said. “I want to assure all that my states government is working very hard to see to it that all the children taken from Jubek state are returned home safely.”
Jane Simon, an UNMISS Child Protection Officer, said that her office was working day in and day out with Jubek state’s Ministry of Social Development, as well as with UNICEF, to ascertain a reintegration package for Esther, and those children returned in the days, months, and years to come.
Anthony Nwapa, an UNMISS Human Rights Officer, representing the Juba Head of Field Office, appreciated the commitment made by the two governors, urging that the perpetrators of these crimes must be apprehended and punished to the full extent of the law.