More than 1,000 people have been killed and 400 others were abducted in communal conflicts in the past six months in South Sudan, according to the UN mission in the country.
“More than 1,000 people died in Warrap in the past six months … there are a lot of people who want to go on and carry out revenge attacks for those that have died,” David Shearer, Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said on Tuesday.
South Sudan has witnessed a surge in intercommunal violence in recent months, particularly due to cattle raiding which in turn results in brutal reprisal killings.
Shearer further cautioned that the likelihood for more clashes in the state was high once the dry season begins in January.
He also singled out the eastern state of Jonglei where “hundreds” were killed in clashes this year “and more than 400 people were abducted”.
“The potential for conflict in Jonglei as a result … is very, very high,” Shearer added.
Shearer appealed to the rival communities to hold peace talks adding that the UNMISS would deploy peacekeepers to a number of temporary bases in select areas identified as hot spots for the clashes.
Monitors fear the intercommunal violence could jeopardize the peace deal signed between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in September 2018 formally ending a five-year war that killed thousands of people.