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South Sudan Attack Leaves 12 Dead, 15 Children Missing

An attack on a village in South Sudan has left at least 12 individuals dead and 15 children reported missing.

Officials in eastern South Sudan reported that youths attacked a village, resulting in the deaths of at least 12 individuals, with 15 children reported missing.

The surge in local conflicts, preceding late-year elections, has raised concerns among many. While the major factions have been at peace since the 2013-2018 civil war, clashes persist among armed groups.

Some activists suggest that the recent surge in violence may be linked, at least in part, to the upcoming elections aimed at selecting successors to the current transitional government.

In the latest incident on Sunday, youths attacked Ajwara village in Pibor’s Pochalla county, Abraham Kelang, Information Minister of Greater Pibor Administrative Area, said.

“Twelve people were killed, 10 injured and there were some cattle that were raided,” he said, adding that most of the dead were elderly.

The attackers, from the Murle ethnic group, are also suspected of abducting children, Owety Olung, the acting commissioner of Pochalla County, said.

He said, “We have 15 children who are still missing right now. We don’t know where they are if they are with the attackers or in the bush”

Pochalla County, predominantly inhabited by the Anyuak ethnic group, has experienced sporadic clashes with the Murle community, primarily residing in neighboring Boma County. These conflicts, often fueled by cattle rustling, have drawn in ethnic groups from neighboring Jonglei State.

In late March, youths in Pibor shot and killed 15 individuals, including the deputy army commander of Boma, government officials, and the county commissioner’s bodyguards.

Officials also attributed the killing of another county commissioner in Pibor and a security official last year to these youths.

Earlier this year, over 150 people lost their lives in clashes between rival groups in northern and western regions of South Sudan.

Melissa Enoch

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