Armed men from the Sudanese Messiria tribe have taken almost 1,000 people hostage in a tribal feud over blood money.
The Messiria tribesmen stopped their convoy of about 150 cars in the northern state of South Kordofan.
"It started several months ago when elements of the southern tribes in Unity State attacked the Messiria, took some of their cars and killed three of their shepherds," he said.
"A settlement was reached between the two sides whereby Unity State should pay blood money to the Messiria. Now, the Messiria are saying they have been waiting for that payment for a long time and they decided to take action to put pressure on Unity State."
The government of South Sudan said that negotiations are ongoing and that a solution might be reached soon.
The Messiria belong to the Baggara Arabs tribes and speak Sudanese Arabic. Numbering over one million, the Baggara are the second largest ethnic group in Western Sudan, extending into Eastern Chad.
They are primarily nomadic cattle herders and their journeys are dependent upon the seasons of the year.
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