JUBA: At least 30 people were killed and dozens wounded in a cattle raid between warring communities in South Sudan, the latest in a string of bloody clashes between rival ethnic groups, officials said on Wednesday.
Youths armed with automatic rifles from the Dinka Gok ethnic group in Lakes state marched for around eight hours to attack a rival group of cattle herders from the Dinka Rek tribe in Warrap state, said local official Isaack Mayom Malek.
The attack took place on Friday, but reports from the remote region only filtered out after survivors of the raid limped back to their communities.
“In that fighting, 22 were reported killed, 18 wounded on our side”, Malek said, the commissioner of Cueibet county, from where the raiders originated.
On the side of the Dinka Rek, authorities in Tonj South county, where the raid took place, told Malek that “nine were killed and 24 wounded”.
Talks between the two ethnic groups were held just two weeks ago and moves made to disarm the youth, who have carried out a series of deadly revenge raids.
South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, is awash with weapons after decades of war with Sudan, making traditional cattle raiding increasingly deadly, with women and children killed in what were once attacks to steal cattle.
Earlier this year, South Sudan was rocked by a wave of ethnic violence as armed youth in the country's neglected and vast Jonglei state marched on a rival clan, killing around 1,000 people, according to Small Arms Survey estimates.