Many of the approximately 6,000 armed men who have been besieging a town for the past few days in Jonglei State have moved away from the city center, reported the UN “Radio Miraya”, reviving at the same time dramatic evidence related to inter-community violence and destruction over the same period.
According to the radio broadcast Lou-Nuer fighters have moved about fifteen away miles from Pibor, the city that was the epicenter of the recent crisis and where hundreds of South Sudanese soldiers, UN peacekeepers and 2,000 police offiers were deployed.
The possibility that the crisis may resume a military plan does not change the fact that there is a dramatic situation charactertised by the presence of at least 25,000 displaced people, mostly families of Murle ethnic farmers. John Boloch Kumen, head of a government commission for Peace and Reconciliation noted that many villages have been razed to the ground leaving innocent victims. “In Likuangole – he said in reference to a small town 30 km north of Pibor – only the trees and vultures are left alive; in one tukul alone seven women were burned alive.”
According to UN officials and MISNA sources, thousands of displaced people have no clean water, food and medical care. After the sacking of a hospital operated by the NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), in the region of Pibor, for a population of 160,000 people, there is only one clinic.
The violence between the Luo-Nuer and the Murle in Jonglei State resumed over the past weekend less than a month after clashes that had killed at least 40 people near Bor. The inter-communal tensions are almost always linked to the control of water and pasture for cattle, which is a major problem in South Sudan which became independent from Khartoum last year after a long civil war.