December 28, 2013 (RUMBEK) - Authorities in South Sudan’s Lakes state said that inter-clan clashes spurred by cattle raiding and counter revenge attacks have once again flared.
- South Sudan’s Lakes state and its neighbouring regions have become a hub for cattle raids (ST)
An officer from Lakes state’s criminal investigation department (CID), who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that revenge attacks had occurred on Saturday in which a person identified as Maliet Majok Cenmuoth was killed by an unknown assailant in the Anyinyong area, located in the northern part of Rumbek Central county.
The officer said the incident was believed to be a revenge attack, with members of the Nyang clan suspected to have carried out the killing.
Cenmuoth hailed from the Joth clan, with its members involved in recent clashes with the Nyang section following the death of a 17-year-old student in November, who was killed by unknown gunmen, reportedly from the Joth section.
The CID noted that Cenmuoth was ambushed while coming out of Akot cattle camp near Langcok military barracks in a Nyang area.
In a separate incident, a group of suspected pastoralists from Cueibet county entered Lila cattle camp in neighbouring Rumbek Central county in an attempt to steal cows.
Cueibet county commissioner Isaac Mayom Malek confirmed the incident, but there remains conflicting reports on the number of people killed during the ensuing gunfire exchange between the suspected cattle raiders and cattle owners at the Lila camp.
“Yes, I am aware of that incident, but there is no proper detail of people killed. Some days ago, I got information that there were criminal people who always raid cattle moving toward that cattle camp called Lila and I inform my counterpart of Rumbek Central county”, Malek said.
Police in Rumbek Central county confirmed that one person had been killed and two people suffered gunshot wounds in the attack.
However, police who were on ground at the time in Lila said they saw about eight dead bodies in the area following the withdrawal of the suspected cattle raiders.
An eyewitness said that Thien Madit from the Ajaak section was killed, with two people admitted to Rumbek state hospital with gunshot wounds. He said all cattle had since been recovered.
Investigations into the matter are ongoing, with police yet to capture any suspects in the Lila attack.