JUBA – A deadly violence among rival communities in Tonj East of Warrap state has on Sunday killed at least thirty-six (36) people and wounded at least eighty-six, authorities there have said.
Tonj East County Commissioner John Deng Kook Chan said Monday that while the authorities still revising the casualties, around five people are still missing and that the violence erupted as a result of cattle rustling on Sunday.
Deng said the fighting which displaced an unknown number of people erupted after eight cows were stolen by unknown armed men on Sunday sparking search from the community were the cows were stolen leading to the fighting.
“The deadly clashes between Luanyjang community and the three sections of Thiik, Adoor, and Akook lasted for a full day,” he said.
The commissioner said calm has returned to the area as he urged the state government to immediately intervene to prevent further attack.
“The situation is relatively calm at the moment despite the fact the many people have been displaced from their respective villages due to fear of escalation and revenge attacks,” he said.
Tonj is one of the restive areas in South Sudan. In August last year, deadly fighting between armed youth and members of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces resulted in the killing of at least 200 people.
The army was on a forced disarmament exercise when the violence erupted. The army then ceased the disarmament and negotiation which is yet to yield result was started with community leaders in a bid to try to convince the youth to voluntarily surrender their guns.