Woman killed in violent clashes in the split of Central Equatorial State in South Sudan

Rebel soldiers in Nyal, Unity State, South Sudan Rebel soldiers in Nyal, Unity State, South Sudan © Jason Patinkin/IRIN

16 June 2016
Violence erupted during the inauguration ceremony of the newly created Jubek state in South Sudan.

 

On 7 May, the raising of the Jubek flag in an inauguration celebration resulted in the death of a woman, and 1,200 people fleeing to their homes.

The former Central Equatorial State of South Sudan has been split into three states: Terekeka, Jubek, and Yei. The split was done by President Salva Kiir, who reorganized the country into 28 states, despite the objections by the UN. They each have their own flag and their territories are largely based on ethnic lines. The recent split incited violence among the people that had once been united under one state, and now fight to claim the area as their own.

Mangala County has a history of being disputed territory between the Mundari people of Terekeka and the Bari people of Jubek. When Elario Paulo Fataki, the newly-appointed commissioner of Mangala County, replaced the old flag with the new one for Jubek, local Mundari youth broke out fighting in resistance to the split.

"I was going to my place to raise the flag, and the Mundari youth attacked our celebration," said Fataki. "The youths from Terekeka started the shooting."

The recent creation of the new states within South Sudan has sparked concern for further violence to persist. "We are living in a state where you have ethnicity at the centre of political strength. Your ethnic identity is greater than your sense of nation or citizenship," said Edmund Yakani, director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO). "We used this identity game to split from Sudan, and now they're using it within South Sudan. The likelihood of secession is rising, and if it fails, we'll end up like Somalia."

 

To know more, read:

http://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2016/06/16/splits-and-schisms-south-sudan
http://reliefweb.int/report/south-sudan/mangala-displaced-reach-1200
http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/conflict/civil-war-in-south-sudan
https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/kiir-agrees-committee-review-28-states-critics-demand-return-10
http://radio-miraya.org/news/mangala-displaced-reach-one-thousand-two-hundred/

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