February 1, 2017 (Wau) – At least 22 people have reportedly been killed in South Sudan’s Jur River county in the aftermath of conflict between cattle keepers from Warrap state and communities from Wath-lelo payam, an area lawmaker said Tuesday.
- Map of South Sudan showing Warrap state in red
“Between 20th and 25th January, cattle keepers have been brutally killing the host community and burning down their houses and looting their foods,” Dominic Ater told Sudan Tribune on phone.
He accused the state government and the head of the special forces of blaming the attack on rebels, and not cattle keepers.
Most of those killed, the lawmaker said, were women and children, adding that more than 10,000 people have already fled their homes to the town and are currently sheltering at the Episcopal Church, Nazareth Catholic Church, which others were stranded near Tonj-Rumbek road check point and desperately needed food assistance.
“If such attacks are not urgently controlled, the situation in the state particularly in Roc Roc Dong county will deeply worsen,” warned Ater.
Allegations that some members of the organized forces were smuggling ammunition to cattle keepers could, however, not be verified.
Speaking at a meeting held Tuesday between Wau and Tonj state, former Western Bahr el Ghazal state governor, Mark Nyipuoch urged the two leaders to ensure people in both states co-exist peacefully.
“I am always not happy when hearing and seeing people fleeing their homes due to fighting between the Luo and Dinka and Dinka, Luo and Feritits. It has never happen that the three communities had a differences which drive them to war. Let us recall our long historical of coexistence in which these communities had not been in war with one another,” he said.
He said South Sudan was at the stage of observing the peace dialogue initiated by president Salva Kiir and the people Wau and Tonj states should not be obstacles to the ongoing peace process.