Home | News    Thursday 25 August 2011

UN, US express concern as 26,000 displaced from Jonglei conflict


August 24, 2011 (JUBA) - The UN’s humanitarian coordinator and the top US official in South Sudan have expressed their concern over the security situation in Jonglei state, where fighting is estimated to have killed hundreds and displaced over 26,000 people.

Lise Grande, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan. (Ngor Garang/ST)The clashes, which began on August 18, have left some villages burnt to the ground, the UN’s Lisa Grande told journalists in Juba on Wednesday following the return of a UN assessment team, which was dispatched on August 22.

The UN’s investigation, found more than 330 graves in Jonglei’s Uror County. However Grande acknowledges that the number could be much higher, with local authorities reporting the over 600 have been killed with more bodies possibly remaining unburied in the bush.

In Pieri and Motot villages 200 people were injured. “Over 250 unaccompanied minors were also identified" Grande said.

“During yesterday’s flyover, the assessment team saw two villages that appeared to be torched to the ground.”

Of the estimated 26,800 individuals displaced, 15,000 are in the Pieri area and 11,800 in Motot, Pulchuol and Karaam Payams [districts]. This number is likely to increase once more areas are reached.

A group of officials from Jonglei told Sudan Tribune immediately after the clashes in Uror county that the fighting had resulted in 640 deaths, 861 people sustaining injuries, the kidnap of 208 children, the arson of 7,924 houses and the theft of 38,000 cows.

The latest clash was perpetrated by the Murle ethnic group against the Luo Nuer apparently in response to a reciprocal attack in June. Tit for tat cattle raids and revenge attacks between the neighbouring tribes have resulted in the death of 1,000 people since January according to the UN. In the same period the UN says tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes, and hundreds of women and children have been abducted from both communities.

“Aid agencies are doing everything they can to assist people in need. It’s unfortunate that the World Food Programme’s warehouse in Pieri, which contained enough food to feed 2,000 people for one month, was looted and that a Médecins Sans Frontières supported clinic was semi-destroyed and a car torched,” said Grande.

Some of the injured are being treated at the scene while over 80 of the most severe cases have been evacuated to Juba, the capital of newly independent South Sudan.

Juba condemns Jonglei attacks

South Sudan’s government in Juba strongly condemned the attacks in Jonglei state and set up a committee to investigate the incident, its spokesman said on Wednesday.

“The Government of South Sudan condemns such mindless violence that has left so many innocent men, women and children dead or injured, their homes and livelihoods in ruin,” caretaker minister for information and broadcasting Benjamin Barnaba Marial said.

He added, “There is no place for anything like this in South Sudan and the Government and people of South Sudan will not tolerate it.”

Interior minister addresses parliament

During a heated parliamentary debate on Wednesday, lawmakers questioned South Sudan’s interior minister, Gier Chuang Aluong, over the Jonglei violence and what steps were being put in place by the government to prevent similar future attacks.

A member of the parliament told Sudan Tribune that during Monday’s deliberations members of the house recommended that a state of emergency be declared in Jonglei state in order to effectively address the ongoing killings in the area.

Marial, himself a member of the assembly, told journalists that the parliament had passed a number of resolutions, ranging from requesting the government to send troops to curb any revenge attacks by Luo Nuer against the Murle and providing humanitarian assistance.

They also asked for a reconciliation process to be established to find long term solutions. Marial said that additional focus will be placed on infrastructural development in the area, including the provision of new roads, improved water facilities such as damming and the dredging of blocked streams.

Jonglei’s governor has said that poverty and competition over resources are at the root of the conflict.

“The Minister of the Interior was instructed to take these resolutions to a meeting of the National Security Committee which will be chaired by the President this afternoon,” Marial said.

South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly had also summoned the country’s defense minister Nhial Deng Nhial but he is currently out of the country.

On Tuesday, Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General called on the government of South Sudan to restore security in Jonglei state. Similar statements were also re-echoed by Hilde F. Johnson, the special representative to the UN Secretary General and the Archbishop of Sudan Daniel Deng Bol, who visited the area after the attack.

US - violence must be contained

The top US diplomat to South Sudan expressed his concerns over the prevailing insecurity situation in nascent country on Wednesday. Barrie Walkley, the American Ambassador to South Sudan, said the recent incidents must be contained to avoid further escalations.

Walkley also expressed concern at recent violence in Warrap and Lakes states when he met with the newly independent republic’s Vice President Riek Machar to be briefed on the government’s ongoing efforts to contain the situation. Machar said the government was deploying forces to the affected areas to calm the situation.

Insecurity through cattle raiding and banditry is one of the major challenges facing South Sudan, which separated from North Sudan in July as part of a 2005 peace that ended decades of conflict. Numerous rebel groups add to the insecurity making it difficult for Africa’s 54th country - one of the poorest in the world - to develop after decades of crippling civil war.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 25 August 2011 09:42, by Jeti

    Juba’s government keeps condemning the killings of its citizens without taking any action to stop it. Please wake up and do something a government is supposed to be doing. Do not bark like dogs.

  • 25 August 2011 09:46, by jacob mayen ajuoi

    situation of jonglei will not change,unless the government of jonglei have to discern to remove commissioner of pibor county. is one the drumstick murle youths to carries attack on all neighboring counties like. bor, nuer,government should take action on these man. otherwise clashes are not going to end.

  • 25 August 2011 11:41, by Rich Dinka

    Why exaggerated the figures, what is the population of Uror county so that 26,000 people are now displaced? Why were the returnees from Khartoum not supported compared to these people displaced by raiders?

    There must be something wrong with UN

    • 25 August 2011 12:53, by Your Freedom

      Uror is the populous county in South Sudan , it can make State of it own , unlike Awiel has only thgre counties and was made to be state.
      Why you can complain of IDPs who were ske to come to SOuth five years ago and remain in Khartoum only to vote for faile unity, they just come to South now after being expelled by Bshir Ilke wat he did , these peolpe donot knw their rights, if they wee true South sudanese the could have come home earlier than today and claim to be IDPs , IDP to where when they are coming back to their homein SOuth the only people who will be given Aid are only Dinka Refugges of Abyie Warrap , and e

      • 26 August 2011 13:48, by Rich Dinka

        I don’t understand what you are talking about, can you repeat your statement? Who told you that there is state called Aweil in South Sudan with three counties? Are you really South Sudanese or you went hiding in refugees camp during the war. We have Northern Bahr el Ghazal state with five counties which include: Awiel centre,AWeil North,AWeil East, Aweil West and Aweil south. Mading Aweil is the headquarter of NBS. I am sorry to give a free lecture to a foolish Nuer(Nyigaat). Revise your primary school geography my friend.if you raid yourselves in Jonglei state and expect UN to assist you, then you will finish very soon, you greedy Nyigaateen of Jonglei. Dinka are generous and rich people my friend. We don’t have more returnees like your people who were with your dead militia men in Khartoum during the war. We have forgiven all the rubbish you did but the history will never forgive you Nyigaateen.

  • 26 August 2011 09:13, by belle loboi

    Kiir and Kuol are all blind men with no strategic plan and they need to resign promptly. how can blind men lead people at this generation of new world that require a lot of critical thinking.

    • 26 August 2011 15:41, by Your Freedom

      Dinka must be trained to work , they cannot be alway looting public asset in thename of IDPs, tell your uncle in your Mading Awiel to plought than asking aid agencies to give food every year, we are tried your corruption made by your illiterate uncles in Juba

  • 8 April 2013 16:52, by dennishobson

    zegDf8i0h3nkkvxxU8j7ZUeJUKKjpKssanyong madeira plastica composite decking I’d have to check with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

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