March 11, 2014 (RUMBEK) – Nine people are dead and another four suffered gunshot wounds after inter-clan clashes erupted on Friday in Rumbek North’s Maper county in South Sudan’s Lakes state.
Fighting flared at the Yhaga cattle camp between members of the Gaak and Manuer sub-clans reportedly over a dispute about a girl.
Rumbek North MP Marik Nanga Marik confirmed that nine people had died in the clashes, with victims from both clans. The four gunshot victims were admitted to Rumbek hospital for treatment.
Marik described the incident as “regrettable”, saying efforts were being made by traditional leaders to calm tensions in the area.
The MP said the state government had not yet taken any steps to restore order despite being officially being notified of the clashes.
Lakes state authorities have become increasingly isolated since caretaker military governor Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol took over after his elected predecessor was removed last year.
Traditional chiefs, students and activists have called on president Salva Kiir to remove Dhuol, but public demands have so far been overlooked.
Under South Sudan’s constitution, an election should be held within 90 days, in the event that the president removes a governor from office.
However, in the three states where governors were removed last year this has yet to occur.
Meanwhile, the state’s newly appointed cabinet has sworn in last Tuesday without the presence of senior officials from the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), who reportedly boycotted the ceremony. The swearing in ceremony was organised by the general office of the Lakes state government secretariat without notifying the SPLM office in Rumbek despite this being normal procedure.
According to the SPLM’s manifesto, ministerial nominations are supposed to be approved by the ruling party before the governor issues a decree to form a new cabinet.