South Sudan: hundreds killed in fresh wave of intercommunal clashes

Internally displaced children and a woman sit on a car Internally displaced children and a woman sit on a car Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/ Reuters

20 May 2020

Recent violence between communities in Jonglei State claimed the death of at least 300, including three international aid workers 

Over the past weekend intercommunal fights between the Murle and Lou Nuer communities in the eastern state of Jonglei have killed hundreds of civilians. Additional 300 reportedly have been wounded by gunshots as well as other injuries and had lost their homes. One nurse by Doctors without Borders and two additional aid workers have reportedly lost their lives during the clash. According to South Sudan government officials the numbers of deadly injured are expected to rise. Warehouses of aid organisations were raided. Doctors without Borders has resumed its work in the region after briefly pausing following the attack.

Heavily armed men from the Murle ethnic group allegedly had attacked six villages of the Lou Nuer on Saturday. Huts were burned to the ground. According to local authorities, this was a revenge for a previous incident in February. Back then,men from the Lou Nuer ethnic group had raided cattle and abducted children from the Murle. During a more previous attack thousands of cattle were killed. Now the economic survival for the Murle ethnic group is affected.

According to local authorities, outbreaks of intercommunal clashes in the region are increasing and threaten the security of South Sudan and also the officially reached peace. After the six-year-civil war from 2013 to 2018, Civilians are still recovering from the consequences. Millions were displaced and still are rebuilding their lives after the armed conflict. The country’s fragile peace deal was achieved by President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar, the former rebel leader, only in February this year. "The governor is a very, very important person in the state because they bring together many of the tribes. They also have the authority to reconcile and take action where there's non-compliance," David Shearer, the UN Special Representative to South Sudan told Al-Jazeera.


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Author: Theresa Bender-Säbelkampf

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