August 21, 2013 (RUMBEK) – Tribal clashes in Lakes state’s Yirol West county on Sunday have left one woman dead, while another man was admitted to hospital with severe wounds after being beaten to the head with a stick.
The clashes erupted when two men from different sub-tribes quarrelled over a drum in a playground in the remote village of Pogic.
According to an eyewitness, local residents were dancing in the playground at the time of the incident, which occurred after one person attempted to take a drum away from another person.
The witness said fighting erupted between the Yhom and Kook sections of the Atuot Dinka of Yirol West county when one person tried to prevent the drum being taken away.
“Immediately, one person from another side of Yhom jump and beat one person from Kook section with [a] stick direct to the head – the fighting immediately increase and one woman was left dead and her husband is admitted in Mapuordit hospital”, said the eyewitness who requested anonymity.
The South Sudan police criminal investigation department (CID) also confirmed the clashes, saying that forces were sent to control the unrest.
A senior official from the CID who spoke on condition of anonymity said two people suspected of being ring leaders during the clashes were arrested.
Tribal tensions in the area remain high following the clashes, with county commissioner Col. Majak Ruei Angong calling for calm in the Mapuordit payam (district).
The commissioner dispatched large number of police officers to quell insecurity in the area and local authorities are currently in pursuit of more suspects.
Lakes state has more pending murder cases than any other state in South Sudan.
The judiciary system has come under criticism for being slow to intervene, with a cycle of inter-communal violence, revenge killings and road robberies continuing to plague the state.
Attempts by the state government to restore security have also been undermined by the random arrest of innocent pastoralist youths.