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UNMISS condemns killing of 28 civilians during cattle raid in South Sudan

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Monday condemned the violence which left nearly 28 civilians killed last week in Duk County of Jonglei state.

Local authorities in Jonglei state blamed the attack that left about 19 people wounded on armed Murle youth from neighboring Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA).

UNMISS said in a statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan that it is engaging national, state and county authorities in order 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.

UNMISS also reaffirmed its commitment to the protection of civilians and support for durable peace across the country.

Philip Thon Leek Deng, the Member of Parliament representing Duk County in the national legislative assembly said that the death toll from the violence could be higher as they continue to discover more bodies in the bushes.

 “The total number of the dead is now 28 and the number of the wounded 19 but this could soon rise due as we continue to search for more bodies in the bushes,” Leek told Xinhua.

He said 13 of the wounded have been airlifted to Juba for medical treatment.

Leek said that the attackers who came from four Bomas of Gumuruk County of Greater Pibor Administrative Area are believed to have made off with more than 7000 heads of cattle.

“The Murle have gone completely with cattle but one of the new information we got is that these Murle militia attacked from four Bomas of Gumuruk County,” he said.

Abraham Kelang, the minister of information for Greater Pibor Administrative Area said that they are monitoring the movement of the attackers, adding that they will be arrested and the stolen cattle returned to the owners.

Jonglei and Greater Pibor Administrative Area are often embroiled in tit- for -tat violence often characterized in the form of cattle raiding, revenge killings and child abduction.

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