October 22, 2013 (BOR) - The acting humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in South Sudan has condemned Sunday’s attack on civilians in Jonglei state’s Twic East county, which left over 70 people dead.
“On behalf of the humanitarian community, I strongly condemn the attack on civilians which took place in Jonglei State’s Twic East County on 20 October 2013”, Chris Nikoi said on Tuesday.
On 20 and 21 October, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), its humanitarian air service evacuated 49 people from Twic East, 30 of whom were flown to the state capital, Bor and 19 to Juba for treatment.
The government in Jonglei said over 70 were killed and 88 others injured in the attack, largely blamed on a rebel group, which has been operating in the area .
Among the casualties, as identified by the OCHA, were at least five women and children.
"Humanitarians stand ready to respond to other eventual humanitarian needs resulting from this violence", Nikoi said.
"We call on the Government of South Sudan to reinforce its ongoing efforts to strengthen law and order and to ensure aid workers continue to have unimpeded access to all areas affected by violence, so that we can reach people in need, on time", he added.
Locals fear the area could witness another similar attack, officials said.
“People did not sleep last night and maybe tonight again, because they said they had detected the enemy coming back again", the commissioner of Twic East county, Dau Akoi Jurkuch, said on Tuesday.
According to the commissioner, locals accuse the neighbouring Murle tribe of carrying out the raid. About 10 men from Murle side are reported to have been killed, with more suspected to be injured in the bush.
"We don’t know whether they are coming to collect the their people who were injured in the fighting”, said Jurkuch.