At least 30 dead in tribal clashes in South Sudan
Juba - At least thirty people were killed in tribal clashes in
South Sudan's northern Tonj state on Friday, officials said.
The fighting between two sub-clans of the dinka tribe came days after
President Salva Kiir removed the state's governor and replaced him
"We have confirmed thirty bodies, including women and elderly people,
from both sides," the new governor, Simon Madut Aleu, told dpa.
"Despite the government's initiative to restore peace among locals
through disarmament and dialogue, tribal clashes and cattle raiding
remain the major challenges in the state," he said.
Cattle raiding has occurred for centuries in the East African nation,
and children are sometimes abducted during raids to be used as
domestic slaves. The raids often carry an ethnic component.
South Sudan is in its fifth year of civil war despite the signing of
a ceasefire agreement in December. The conflict, sparked by a 2013
split between Kiir and Machar, his former deputy, has led to tens of
thousands of deaths and the displacement of 2.5 million people.
South Sudan's civilians had their eyes gouged out, were castrated and
were forced to rape each other by the country's warring sides,
according to UN rights investigators who have collected evidence
against more than 40 senior military figures.
The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan on Friday presented
information pointing to crimes against humanity and war crimes
committed during the past two years amid the world's fastest-growing
Children have been recruited by all sides of the conflict and have
been forced to kill civilians, the commission found.
"Conflict-related sexual violence is endemic," its report said.
Children are thought to make up a quarter of sexual violence victims.
Some civilians were forced to rape close family members. One of the
230 witnesses interviewed by the commission said her 12-year-old son
was coerced to have sex with his grandmother in order to stay alive.
Commission chairwoman Yasmin Sooka said the evidence against senior
officials should be used by the so-called Hybrid Court, which South
Sudan agreed to set up with the African Union in 2015, but which has
yet to materialize.
"Ultimately, this is the only way to stop the rampant devastation of
millions of human lives by South Sudan's leaders," said Sooka.
The report was prepared for the UN Human Rights Council.