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South Sudan army denies participation in Jonglei conflict

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December 29 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s army on Thursday dismissed reports claiming that it participated in tribal clash involving two rivalling ethnic communities in Jonglei State’s Pibor County.

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Lou Nuer youth leader speaking in Linkuangole, Jonglei state. 28 Dec. 2011 (ST)

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Monday said its air patrols identified thousands of armed Lou Nuer youths preparing to attack communities of the Murle tribe near Likuangole in Jonglei.

"I am deeply concerned to learn of reports of this imminent large scale attack on civilians in Jonglei state," Hilde Johnson, head of the UNMISS said in a statement.

"The government must act now if we are to avert a major tragedy."

South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar, Minister of Justice, John Luk Jok, and local MPs have visited the area in an attempt to diffuse tensions and persuade the Luo Nuer youth not to attack the Murle.

On Wednesday a group calling itself Jikany and Lou Nuer White Army issued a statement vowing to "eliminate the entire Murle tribe on the face of the earth", claiming it was the way guarantee the end ongoing cattle theft between the two tribes.

The Luo Nuer youths accuse the neighbouring Murle ethnic group of raiding their cattle and killing members of their tribe. Despite a 2005 peace accord ending two decades of civil war, which subsequently led to South Sudan’s independence in July this year, cattle raiding between rival groups has killed thousands in the last seven years.

“Neither the UN nor the SPLA have protected the Nuer, the group alleged.

”We the Nuer Youth have decided to fight the Murle, SPLA and the UN," it said, claiming it had killed 80 SPLA soldiers fighting alongside the rivalling Murle tribe.

Responding to the situation Johnson said the primary responsibility for protecting civilians lies with the government in Juba. However, UNMISS have reinforced its peacekeepers in Jonglei while conducting continuous air patrols to deter potential violence.

Inter-communal violence has already affected "so many civilians, “she said, calling for reconciliation.

"Time is now running out and the government needs to redouble its efforts to prevent a tragedy and avert large-scale violence. All South Sudanese people must now put peace and stability in their new and independent country above any other concerns and interests," Johnson said.

In August and September Murle raids on the Luo Nuer in Jonglei state claimed around 700 lives, the UN estimates. The attack is believed to have been in response to a Luo Nuer attack on the Murle that killed hundreds according to local sources.

Johnson said at the time the raids involved "army-like" movements of people with new weapons and satellite phones. "So this is not normal cattle rustling," she said.

However, SPLA spokesman Colonel Philip Aguer told Sudan Tribune on Thursday dismissed reports that some members of the country’s army were killed while fighting for Murle.

He accused north Sudan of arming and supporting some tribes and rebel groups in order to destabalise South Sudan. Khartoum has always been quick to deny this and counters that Juba is supporting rebels within its own territory.

Jonglei’s governor, Kuol Manyang Juuk, in an interview with The Citizen newspaper on Wedneday denied reports that the SPLA fought alongside Murle. He also denied the existence of the a new Nuer ’white army’ in the state.

The UN’s Secretary-General said 28 December that he was deeply concerned about tensions in South Sudan between Lou Nuer and Murle communities but commended Juba’s efforts to calm the situation and ensure that vulnerable civilians are protected.

The top UN official called on the leadership of Luo Nuer and Murle to put an end to violence and to ’work with the Government toward a long term solution to the root causes of the hostilities’.

(ST)

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  • 30 December 2011 07:30, by Ajok Garang

    go ahead Nuer let the fcucking UN and the army come but they are the one encouraging murle to attack all the tribes in the South ,if murle attack other tribes the UN patrol is not there and the SPLA and if they are attack by other tribes ,then they NGOs and goverment comes in there...continue doing your job..

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    • 30 December 2011 17:48, by Ahmed Chol

      The problem is that no nobody, neither the UN nor GoSS condemns murle of their heinous crimes of child abduction and selling. They’re presented as the victims but they are not. They’re creating problems. They do what Arabs never did in the south. After we all become tired of them, the danger will become endangerd!Unless Murle transformed over night and become preachers of peace .

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  • 30 December 2011 07:56, by mohammed ali

    UNIMISS is there conducting air survillance if there is support from Khartoum they should tell us. Simply blaming Khartoum is not going to rid of your responsibilities towards your pple!

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    • 30 December 2011 08:36, by omoni jr.

      Bro Ali Mahammed,
      you are an ordinary person like me,but do not deny the facts that sudan or north sudan support the south sudan rebellions ,we have concrete and strong evidences ,and remember that south sudan caught your Helicopter and detained for almost year,so southerners are NOT dumb to figured out something not good.

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      • 30 December 2011 22:04, by mohammed ali

        Omoni, do you really think that the UN will keep quite if there is evidence that Khartoum is supporting the waring tribes? I can understand that they might be arming rebillions, bu how could be arming tribes?!They were fighting each other for quite a long time .

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      • 1 January 2012 10:27, by Bolman

        so what if Khartuom supporting the South sudan’s Rebell the question why the new state formed the Rebellions,the solution is what I know so far according to my knowledge our Government it already failed to managing the (RSS)to solved the internal problems as ahead family who can solved the home affair issues our (G,RSS)is really busy about how to gain public Funds by their needs not about the Nati

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  • 30 December 2011 08:44, by Ayuen deng

    These will be the end of looting cattle , killing ,child abduction, so who ever think to stop the going war in murle land will be ask WHERE WERE YOU WHEN MURLE KILL PEOPLE IN LOU NUER ,BOR,TWIC EAST, DUK ,POCHALLA? WHERE WERE YOU?

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    • 30 December 2011 11:34, by Peter Marko

      Personally, I urge our government to prevent luo Nuer from launching this reprisal attack on murle tribe. The cycle of violence must be put into the end by any means, because any revenge will be met with counter-revenge. I wonder why some brothers from a Bor Community are cheering for attack on murle by lou. Please, do not ignite the fire and then sit back. That is a cowardice act.

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  • 30 December 2011 09:06, by J P Puok

    Come on white elephant SPLA spoke person give us break! if you had failed in your duties just under your nose don’t dragged us to the game of blaming Khartuom for all our failure. Khar. doesn’t fit anywhere in this equation. All goats are dead, no room for escapegoating this time. Disarm the Murle by force then the rest will vulontarily do it for the seek of peace and development otherwise !!!!

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  • 31 December 2011 22:19, by panom lualbil

    who opened the lion’s eyes first? If you think Murle did. then lou go ahead and wipe the criminal off in south sudan since juba are seemed weak.

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  • 30 July 2012 18:19, by danaray79

    I am really impressed by this blog! Very clear explanation of issues is given and it is open to everyone. thanks for posting this work of yours..this is very good! Buy Essay.

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