'Twenty-six killed' in south Sudan tribal fighting
KHARTOUM — Clashes over livestock between members of two large tribes killed 26 people in the south Sudan state of Warrap on Wednesday, a senior officer in the south Sudan armed forces said.
"Nuer coming from Mayom county (in the southern state of Unity) attacked Dinka in (neighbouring) Warrap state. Eleven Nuer were killed and 15 Dinka," said Malaak Auyen Ajok, spokesman for the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army.
"This involved fighting over livestock," he said, adding that no more details were immediately available.
The Nuer and the Dinka, each divided into clans, are the two most important tribes in south Sudan, a vast impoverished region that will hold a referendum in January on whether to remain part of Sudan.
The Sudanese press in recent days has spoken of increasing tensions between armed groups in Warrap.
Speaking of the same incident, the United Nations' Miraya FM radio said 20 people had been killed in East Tonj and North Tonj counties in Warrap.
Autonomous south Sudan is struggling to recover from the 22-year civil war with the north that ended in 2005, during which an estimated two million people were killed in a conflict fuelled by ethnicity, ideology, religion and resources such as oil.
The region is also plagued by local clashes between rival ethnic groups, often sparked by cattle rustling and disputes over natural resources, with others in retaliation for previous attacks.
More than 400 people have been killed across the south in cattle raids and revenge attacks this year, according to the United Nations.