Tag Archives: cattle raids

South Sudan: Murle-Nuer fighting “would not halt” disarmament programme

Reuters Africa

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Cattle raiders in South Sudan launched a major assault on a rival tribe, causing heavy loss of life, officials said on Monday, as the government began a disarmament plan to halt the tit-for-tat attacks that have torn the new nation.

South Sudan's President Kiir

Members of Jonglei state’s Murle tribe attacked people from the Lou Nuer group in an area near the Ethiopian border over the weekend, South Sudan’s military spokesman Philip Aguer said. Citing reports from local officials, he said that up to 300 people may have been killed in the raids.

South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between north and south. It was a moment of euphoria for many southerners, but the young government has struggled to assert control over a territory roughly the size of France, awash with guns and hit by violence between competing tribes.

Aguer said violence hit the Wanding area. “The Murle were attacking the Nuer there,” he said. “They took a large number of cattle, and many people were killed.”

The governor of Jonglei state and other local officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The attack was apparently in response to Lou Nuer raids on Murle settlements in December last year, including on the town of Pibor, which killed hundreds of people.

Two United Nations officials confirmed that the raids against the Lou Nuer camps had taken place, but said they could not yet confirm specific numbers of casualties.  Read more…

Thousands flee fighting in South Sudan


Tens of thousands of villagers in South Sudan are hiding in the bush, waiting for UN and government troops to stop a tribal conflict, which officials fear may have left scores of people dead over the weekend.
Armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on the remote town of Pibor in Jonglei state, home to the rival Murle people, who they blame for cattle raiding.

“The situation is tense as the Lou Nuer are still around Pibor,” Isaac Ajiba, Jonglei’s information minister, said on Monday.

Thatched huts have been burned and, according to Parthesarathy Rajendran, the head of Doctors without Borders (known by its French name Medicines sans Frontieres, or MSF) in South Sudan, thousands have been displaced, including his own staff.

“Many of our staff are in the bush and we also heard an MSF clinic has been damaged and looted,” he told Al Jazeera.

“MSF is the only medical health care in the whole region, and the population is very vulnerable for all kinds of medical issues. So we are very concerned about those fleeing into the bush. They don’t have access to water, medical care or food.”

The government and the UN, which has warned the violence could lead to a “major tragedy”, were strengthening their forces in the area.
“We are worried about their conditions. They are without water, shelter and food. They are hiding in the bush. I think it is between 20,000 and 50,000. This is an estimate only,” Lise Gande, UN humanitarian co-ordinator for South Sudan, told the Reuters news agency.

Grande said on Sunday that the number of government forces heading to Pibor was estimated at 3,000 troops and 800 police.  Read more…