13 killed in deadly cattle raid in Duk County
An armed cattle keepers in South Sudan – Courtesy via Eye Radio

Over 200 killed in fresh communal clashes in Eastern Equatoria State

At least 230 civilians have been confirmed dead following communal clashes that erupted between June 20 till July 6 in the Eastern Equatoria state of South Sudan.

Emmanuel Epone Lolimo, commissioner of Kapoeta North County revealed that the clashes in Lokoromae cattle camp erupted after a combined force of the Tennet, Buya and Murle communities attacked Toposa community.

“Our cattle camp was attacked on July 6th by a joint force of Tennet, Buya and Murle tribes,” Lolimo told The Juba Echo by phone on Thursday.

He disclosed that the death toll could rise to more than the 230-figure confirmed earlier on due to the fact that many people are nursing life threatening injuries.

“It is going to go beyond because many of our attackers were heavily wounded,” Lolimo disclosed.

Lolimo’s assertion was corroborated by the governor of Eastern Equatoria Louis Lobong Lojore who confirmed that they are in the process of evacuating the wounded to Greater Pibor Administrative Area on humanitarian grounds.

The Murle who predominantly pastoralists hail from Pibor administrative area near the Ethiopian border. They are notorious for cattle raiding and child abduction.

In addition, an armed person on July 11 opened fire at a funeral in Nimule border town near the Ugandan border killing John Ebele Alex, a local chief sparking off tribal tensions between the Dinka community and the indigenous Madi community.

The incident that coincided with Independence Day celebration have forced the South Sudan to deploy heavily to counter rising ethnic tensions.

The Dinka community migrated with their cattle since March to Eastern Equatoria state in search of water and grazing land in the aftermath of heavy flooding that disrupted their livelihoods.

President Salva Kiir recently warned that inter-communal violence across the country risks reversing the nascent peace gains so far achieved in implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace deal.

“We have lost many lives in Western Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria and Warrap states to inter-communal violence,” Kiir said in his independence day address to the nation.

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