16 Die In South Sudan Village Clashes Over Cattle

Cattle roam around in front of villagers ahead of vaccinations administered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with the help of local community workers, at Kirgui village in Udier, on March 9, 2019. – The passing of centuries seems to have changed little in the ebb and flow of life for herders in remote South Sudan, whose cattle serve as a bank account and play a core role in every aspect of life. Instead of their traditional spears, cow-herds now carry automatic rifles that have transformed cattle raids, a generations-old phenomenon, into massacres that have unleashed brutal cycles of vengeance. While South Sudan’s elites signed a power-sharing truce in September 2018, cattle raids have worsened, highlighting the herculean task required to resolve local conflicts in a society shattered by war. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)

Bona Panek Biar, governor of Warrap on Wednesday said 16 civilians were killed and scores wounded in South Sudan’s northern Warrap region following clashes over cattle.

Biar disclosed that the civilians were killed during clashes over cattle that erupted from Sunday until Tuesday between the Jalwau and Luanyjang clans of the Dinka community in Tonj East area.

According to Biar, criminals from Jalwau clan first raided cattle from Luanyjang clan which caused Luanyjang to retaliate by also raiding cattle from Jalwau.

He said that was what led to clashes between the two communities, leaving 16 people killed on both sides and 47 others wounded.

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Biar said that the fighting has ended following intervention by government troops and the two communities are seeking dialogue to settle the conflict.

“I am not quite sure about the number of cattle stolen but authorities are working now to collect the raided cattle from both sides.’’

In August alone, 148 people were killed in Tonj East in clashes between government forces and armed civilians during a disarmament exercise which the civilians resisted.

In addition, similar clashes over cattle and grazing pasture occurred in July this year pitting Dinka, Neur communities from Jonglei region against Murle community in the neighboring Pibor administrative area bordering Ethiopia.

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Biar said “violence prevents development in the (Warrap) area and causes insecurity among the communities, you cannot get roads, health care, network, and education when there is fighting.

“You get those things only when there is peace.’’

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