By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
February 15, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – A rebel fighter originally from South Sudan and now a naturalised US citizen was critically injured after a land mine attack in Upper Nile state last week, a rebel official said on Sunday.
In an email exchange, Miyong G. Kuon, the SPLM in Opposition’s representative to the United Nations in New York, told Sudan Tribune that David Dep Tew was wounded in a land mine explosion last week in Nasir county.
According to Kuon, three other rebels who were walking alongside Tew also sustained minor injuries and are in stable condition.
Tew, who used to live in Omaha Nebraska, joined the ranks of the SPLM in Opposition led by former vice-president Riek Machar last year .
The rebel official said Tew had lost his lower right leg in the explosion.
Rebel officials confirmed the case, adding that Tew is receiving treatment at Yordonas hospital in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and remains in a critical condition.
According to the SPLM in Opposition office in the Ethiopian capital, said shrapnel from the mine explosion had pierced his body, including his eyes.
Kuon has condemned the use of the internationally banned anti-personnel landmine allegedly by soldiers loyal to president Salva Kiir, adding that residents of Nasir county remain at risk.
“Women and children today live in fear of land mines after the soldiers loyal to Kiir decided to mine the outskirts of the most populated civilian area in Upper Nile,” he said.
Anti-personnel landmines are prohibited under the convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction, also known as the “Mine Ban Convention”, which was adopted in 1997.
Rebel officials in Addis Ababa claim that government forces are still mining areas on the outskirts of Nasir town.