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Communal violence in Pibor leaves 57 killed

At least 57 people were killed and 17 others wounded during recent fighting between Lou- Nuer youth from Jonglei state and Murle in neighboring Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA).

Abraham Kelang, the GPAA minister of information revealed on Tuesday that the fighting in GPAA first erupted on December 25th when youth from Jonglei attacked Lanam village on December 25th, before another bout of fighting occurred in Gumuruk town.

“Yesterday (Monday) 57 people were killed from both sides from Lou-Nuer and Murle youths in Gumuruk County,” Kelang told Juba Echo in an interview by phone.

He disclosed that 17 youth on the Murle side were among the injured.

 “The situation is still worse, and the government has deployed forces to protect civilians, but the fighting is still ongoing,” said Kelang.

Kelang added that the attackers from Jonglei State also raided sizable heads of cattle, in addition to attacking government facilities.

“They attacked military barracks killing one soldier and injuring 17 soldiers,” he said.

On December 21st , the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)  warned about reported mobilization of armed Nuer youth in the Greater Jonglei area, saying such mobilizations have the potential to trigger violent attacks that can gravely impact the civilian population.

UNMISS said then that any upsurge of conflict will undermine recent peace gains achieved through a rapprochement between the leaders of Jonglei state and GPAA.

In March 2020, fighting similar fighting between the two communities displaced thousands.

UNMISS supported peace conference in January 2021, which brought communities of greater Jonglei state and GPAA together in Juba to seek resolutions ending the intermittent violence often characterized by revenge killings, cattle raiding and child abduction.

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