28 Civilians perish in cattle raid in South Sudan – UNMISS

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South Sudan

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) condemned the violence that resulted in nearly 28 civilian deaths last week in Duk County of Jonglei State.

Local authorities in Jonglei State attributed the attack, which left about 19 people wounded, to armed Murle youth from the neighboring Greater Pibor Administrative Area. In a statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, the UNMISS noted its engagement with national, state, and county authorities to de-escalate the situation. “UNMISS calls on all parties involved to cease the violence, avoid reprisal attacks and resort to peaceful means to resolve their grievances. The Mission urges the Jonglei state and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area authorities to enter into dialogue, bring the perpetrators to justice, and prevent further violence,” it said. The UNMISS reaffirmed its commitment to civilian protection and durable peace across the country.

Philip Thon Leek Deng, a member of parliament representing Duk County in the national legislative assembly, said that the death toll from the violence could be higher as more bodies continue to be discovered in the bushes. “The total number of dead is now 28, with 19 wounded, but this toll could increase as we search for more bodies in the bushes,” Leek told Xinhua. He added that 13 of the wounded individuals were airlifted to Juba for medical treatment. Leek said that the attackers are suspected to have taken over 7,000 heads of cattle.

Abraham Kelang, minister of information for Greater Pibor Administrative Area, said that they are monitoring the attackers’ movements, with plans for their arrest and the return of stolen cattle to the owners. Jonglei and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area often experience retaliatory violence, involving cattle raiding, revenge killings and child abduction.

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