Ethnic Clashes Erupt In South Sudan
August 22, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
JUBA, South Sudan, Aug. 22 (UPI) — Ethnic clashes in South Sudan that erupted over cattle left 500 people dead and another 200 people kidnapped, local officials claimed.
South Sudan became an independent state in July, marking a milestone in steps outlined by a comprehensive peace agreement that ended Sudan’s civil war in 2005.
Local and state officials told the BBC at least 500 people were killed between rival ethnic factions and hundreds more were injured or abducted.
Clashes between the Lou Nuer and Murle ethnic groups erupted after the Murle community allegedly stole roughly 40,000 cattle, the BBC reports.
“People need cattle for their own survival, for food security and for marriages — and there is competition over land and water resources, because of underdevelopment,” said state Gov. Kuol Manyang.
Border and ethnic conflicts continue to overshadow peace agreements in the region. Authorities are investigating reports of mass graves in the Sudanese state of South Kordofan, which some suggest show signs of ethnic violence.
The government in Khartoum sent a delegation to the border but denied claims of human rights abuses.
Sudan’s civil war was one of the bloodiest in world history.