32 killed, 26 injured in South Sudan cattle raid

Villagers herd their cattle at Kirgui village in Udier, South Sudan on March 9, 2019. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has expressed security concerns after a cattle raid in Jonglei state left 32 people dead and 26 others injured. 

Juba,

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has expressed security concerns after a cattle raid in Jonglei state left 32 people dead and 26 others injured. 

“The mission is deeply concerned over a recent attack in Baidit, Jonglei state allegedly carried out by armed Murle youths resulting in civilian casualties and temporary displacements,” said UNMISS in a statement.

“According to independent sources including the independent Human Rights Commission armed youth from the Murle community carried out attacks and cattle raids in Dungrut and Machined villages on January 23.”  

UNMISS said preliminary investigations showed that 22 people from the Dinka Bor community were killed while three children reportedly drowned in a river while fleeing.

“Twenty-six others, including women and children, were wounded. The attackers also burned down at least five houses and looted property,” the report added.  

“UNMISS condemns any attack on civilians and urges groups and individuals to take immediate action to avoid further attacks. The Mission further calls on authorities to carry out investigations and ensure the perpetrators are arrested and charged.”

UNMISS stressed that it is committed to supporting the government and the people of South Sudan in implementing the 2018 revitalised Peace Agreement.

“All efforts must be made to restore calm and to promote peace and reconciliation. Any surge in subnational violence will have a devastating effect on communities that have already been impacted by flooding, the Covid-19 pandemic and recurring conflict,” UNMISS said.

A report released by the Jonglei state governor in December last year revealed that at least 32 people were killed in November alone.

The report, which featured six counties, added that nine people were injured.

Most parts of the greater Jonglei state have experienced violence caused by cattle raiding, child abduction and fighting over grazing land.

Greater Jonglei authorities have in the past convened peace and reconciliation meetings to discuss killings and cattle rustling. But all efforts seem to have failed.

Continuous revenge attacks, cattle raiding and child abductions persist in some areas even after donors spent thousands of US dollars on peace projects.

Livestock keeping is the main source of income in many parts of Jonglei state.

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