New Fangak is a payam in Fangak County. It is also referred to as Phom. According to local authorities, the intensity and ferocity of the conflict in this payam dislodged over 12,000 people and forced them to flee to Wicmoun and Buom, both located at a cruising distance of some 30 minutes and one hour respectively on the Giraffe River from New Fangak. A good number of the population also moved deep into remote areas such as Koatnyakoang and Quaker to avoid the atrocities that characterized the conflict. SSRC officials noted that with calm returning to the town, some 5,000 of those displaced have returned, and many more are expected to return back to New Fangak. IDPs from Southern Unity State are also present in the payam.
Relative calm has since returned to New Fangak and surrounding areas, according to local security sources and other inhabitants interviewed. The front line is said to have moved to Malakal when the SPLA withdrew its troops. New Fangak and surrounding areas are firmly under IO control. A few armed men were seen in New Fangak. A General with his bodyguards frequent the communities. The town witnessed recurrent bombardments from heavy explosives and endemic skirmishes between November 2014 and May 2015. The bombardments completely destroyed homes (tukuls) and major social infrastructures including the payam’s hospital, schools and a religious edifice in New Fangak. As a result, services such as health care, education and religious services have been disrupted since November 2014. Livelihood of the population was also largely disrupted by the conflict. People have cultivated small scale farm lands with maize and sorghum, but farming started late and harvest in September is not likely to sustain them for more than a month or two. Until harvest is ready, the community reported that they currently feed on wild leaves including water lilies. Both IDPs and host populations identified their most urgent needs as food, health, shelter and NFI as well as agricultural implements, particularly fishing gears, seeds and tools.
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