At least 32 killed in South Sudan in inter-community violence, UN says

At least 32 people, including women and children, were killed on Sunday in a region of South Sudan wracked by intercommunal violence, the UN said in a balance released Tuesday.

These violent attacks on January 23 hit two towns in the unstable Jonglei state and forced civilians to flee after a group of armed youths from a rival ethnic group opened fire and burned houses in the Baidit area.

Among the dead are three children who drowned in a river when they tried to escape, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a statement.

The attack left at least 26 wounded and several missing.

“UNMISS strongly condemns any attacks against civilians and calls on groups and individuals to take immediate action to prevent a further escalation that puts vulnerable people at risk,” the mission stated.

The UN delegation whose goal is to keep peace in the country was deployed in 2011, when the country gained independence from Sudan, and its original one-year mandate was extended as the country plunged into a bloody civil war and intercommunity clashes.

In the Jonglei region, more than 700 people were killed and many were raped and kidnapped between January and August 2020 in raids by armed ethnic militia groups.

A UN investigation determined that political and military elites played a role in this violence that swept through entire towns in coordinated attacks against rival groups, using machetes, firearms and sometimes rocket-propelled grenades.

np / txw / sva / an / zm

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