January 17, 2012 (JUBA/BOR/PARIAK) – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has expressed concern over the ongoing cycle of retaliatory attacks against the Lou-Nuer community by the rival Murle community in Jonglei state following the withdrawal of the Lou-Nuer from Pibor county two weeks ago.
- South Sudan VP, Riek Machar, greeting UNSG SR, Hilde Johnson and her deputy, Raisedon Zenenga, Juba, January 16, 2012 (ST)
The Murle armed youth have been carrying out hit and run attacks on a number of villages in Akobo and Uror counties that are inhabited by the Lou-Nuer community in Jonglei state in revenge attacks that have left over 50 people dead.
Unlike the hit and run attacks by the Murle, the Lou-Nuer on Christmas Eve launched a revenge attack into Murle land and declared they would occupy it with the aim to capture the towns and villages belonging to Murle in Pibor county and disarm the population by force in what they claimed was the only solution to stop the Murle from attacking them.
However, the Lou-Nuer withdrew from the Murle territory after the South Sudan army (SPLA) and UN sent more troops to the area.
Pibor County authorities have reported that over 3,000 from its citizens were killed during the Lou-Nuer attacks; a figure the government and the United Nations disputed, saying they were not verified.
The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Riek Machar Teny and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, had a briefing on Monday on the insecurity situation in Jonglei state.
The Vice President’s Press Secretary, James Gatdet Dak, said the meeting discussed proposed plans to try and bring the situation in Jonglei state to normal.
These include deployment of more forces including the United Nations troops to various potential areas of conflict in order to deter such attacks as well as initiate peace and reconciliation processes among the tribes in the state.
The need to urgently create buffer areas between the communities was discussed.
MURLE ATTACKS ON DUK COUNTY
Armed Murle raiders captured a Payam (district) headquarters in Duk county of Jonglei state and set huts ablaze, multiple sources told Sudan Tribune’s reporter in Bor on Monday. The raid began at about 6pm local time.
The attack comes as the Murle youth are taking revenge on Lou Nuer counties, including a Friday raid in Wec Deang of Nyirol County that left 13 people dead and five injured, a Jonglei State MP told Sudan Tribune Monday.
Deng Chuol MP, who represents Akobo West in the Jonglei Assembly, said people attacked in Wec Deang were displaced from Akobo county.
Mayen Ngor, Jonglei State minister of agriculture and hails from Duk County, confirmed the fighting without giving further details.
Other sources said the town centre fell to the attackers easily since there was no police or military unit there. The sources claimed that Murle raiders are responsible for the fighting in Duk Padiet
It is not clear what motivated the attacked but Murle leaders recently accused Dinka Bor tribe of fighting alongside the Lou Nuer in December raid on Pibor. Bor leaders dismiss the accusations.
DUK COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ESCAPES ATTACK
The commissioner of Duk, Mochnom Wuor, escaped ’a surprise’ attack at Duk-Padiet in his County on Monday evening Sudan Tribune’s reporter in Pariak was told.
Jonglei State Governor, Kuol Manyang told Sudan Tribune that Padiet was attacked by those he identified as Murle at about 4:30pm local time, and they overran "the few policemen in Padiet", burning down the whole village he reoprted.
The commissioner escaped to Ayen-Kou, a place not very far from Padiet, his home town.
A source who talked to administrator in Padiet said children and women were abducted by the attackers. The youth of Padiet and the few police managed to force the attackers out of the village at 3pm according to the source in Bor.
The Duk County Commissioner told Sudan Tribune on Monday morning that he was he did know how many had died or been injured but said that the village was "completely" burnt.
An aid worker for the International Relief and Developement [IRD] at Duk-Payuel told Sudan Tribune via e-mail that a man riding a motorbike carrying other two people was injured in an ambush on the way to Pajut by an armed group of around 100 armed men.
The injured man was admitted at Duk Lost Boys’ clinics at Duk Payuel.
Padiet town was reported to have been under the control of the attackers the until 3am on Tuesday.