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5 die in Tonj North cattle raid

An image of a A cattle camp An image of a A cattle camp

A cattle raid in Tonj North County of South Sudan’s Warrap State left five people dead and three others wounded, a local official said on Friday, amid fears of renewed clashes.

While political violence has largely subsided in South Sudan since the signing of a peace agreement in September 2018, conflicts among communities in the country, often fought over cattle, continue to result in the killing and injuring of civilians.

"The violence was caused by a group of cattle thieves from Kirik that organized themselves and then crossed to the defunct Warrap County, which is the area of Noi community in an attempt to raid cattle there in the last four days," Awan Mapuoc, the secretary-general of the now-defunct Tonj State, told Radio Tamazuj.

"On the side of Kirik, four people were killed, while two others were wounded. On the side of Noi community, one person was killed, while another person was wounded," Mapuoc explained.

The official downplayed any inter-communal issue in this week's clash in Tonj North, saying it was a cattle raid incident not a mark of deeper tensions.

"We have controlled the security situation, and we are organizing a peace committee that comprises of local authorities, chiefs and some top government officials to go to Kirik Payam and talk to the communities," he said.

Cattle-related clashes are rampant in Warrap state and often lead to several deaths, injuries and the looting of property.

The military has recently disarmed civilians in some parts of Warrap state, but many weapons are still in circulation.

In August, more than 130 people were killed in Tonj East County when fighting erupted between soldiers and civilians after a disagreement in the village of Romic, about 100 kilometres east of Tonj town. The conflict came amidst a disarmament exercise in the region.

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