News / Africa

Scores Killed in South Sudan Raid

At least 139 people are dead from a tribal raid in southern Sudan. Aid officials and analysts have warned that the escalating violence in the South - which left over 2,500 dead last year - threatens the regional peace as a Southern secession vote nears.

Scores Killed in South Sudan Raid
Scores Killed in South Sudan Raid

Multimedia

Audio

A group of Nuer tribesmen in South Sudan's Warrap state reportedly slaughtered 139 Dinka and stole thousands of heads of cattle. An unknown number of Nuer raiders were also killed in the attack.

The deadly attack took place earlier this week, but reports of the deaths took a few days to make its way out of the remote village. A U.N. military team sent to the area was expected to take a couple days to arrive. South Sudan only has about 50 kilometers of paved roads.

Cattle are the cultural currency for many of the region's tribes, necessary not just as food but for dowry payments and social status. Cattle rustling is traditionally common among the southern communities, but the past year brought levels of violence not normally seen. 

David Gressly is the top U.N. official in the South. In a recent interview in the capital Juba, he told VOA that the bloodshed can mostly be attributed to local disputes.

"What's key here is that the grievances that these communities have - these are very much broken down on tribal or clan lines - these grievances need to be addressed and resolved," Gressly said. "And they relate to access to water, access to pasturelands. Traditionally, there are negotiations which take place; these systems have broken down in a few places."

Senior Southern officials routinely accuse the Khartoum regime of deliberately fueling the inter-tribal strife in their territory through the support of local militias, a main tactic of the North during the long civil war. The ruling northern NCP party flatly denies such charges, and critics of the former Southern rebels say that their governing party has failed to provide the necessary security and leadership to stem the instability.

An investigative report two weeks ago from the think-tank International Crisis Group concluded that the truth likely falls "somewhere in between." The group was investigating the same type of violence in the South's Jonglei state, where the worse of the clashes have been seen.

Although he says the possibility of manipulation from outside forces is there, Gressly said that no hard evidence has been presented yet to back up those claims.

"So far we've not seen or been presented anything that allows us to give any kind of definitive statement on that," he said. "We have to be guided by the two parties in terms of where they see these allegations so that they can be properly investigated. We do that jointly, and we've done that many many times. But there has been nothing credible put on the table for us to work with."

The Dinka and the Nuer are the two biggest tribes in the South, the Dinka constituting about 40 percent of its population and the Nuer around 20 percent.

In 1991, following a split in the southern rebel SPLA leadership, Nuer militias killed some 80,000 civilians - mostly Dinka - around the city of Bor in what became known as the "Bor Massacre."

On Thursday, a group of ten prominent aid groups warned that the situation in south Sudan was sliding back to renewed conflict and called for international intervention. This weekend a new coalition campaign calling itself "Sudan365" is organizing peace rallies in 15 cities around the world to urge more international attention be given to bolstering the tenuous peace agreement in Sudan.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs