11 killed in South Sudan's Jonglei

2011-12-12 19:08

Juba - Eleven people have been killed in new attacks in South Sudan's troubled Jonglei state, where nearly 40 people died in tribal violence last week, the state's governor said on Monday.

Suspected rebels under the command of renegade general George Athor attacked Atar town, in Pigi county, killing nine people, while another raid cost the lives of two people in Kapat, near the state capital Bor, said Kuol Manyang.

Both of the attacks occurred on Sunday.

"There were three SPLA killed and six civilians, including one woman," and three others wounded, Manyang told AFP, referring to South Sudan's army, which has been battling an insurgency in Jonglei since last year.

"[The assailants] are thought to be the people of George Athor" fighting the people of Atar, who were trying to drive the rebels out of the area, he said.

"Two days earlier the rebels attacked another place near Atar... It appears they don't have food so they are targeting the people and taking their cattle," Manyang added.

Last month Athor vowed to keep fighting South Sudan's new government after his demands for seats in the cabinet and nationwide elections were not met during secret talks with President Salva Kiir in Nairobi.

He first launched his bloody rebellion in April 2010 after claiming he was cheated in an election for the governorship of Jonglei state.

Amnesty offer

Kiir's offer of amnesty to rebel groups shortly after South Sudan gained independence in July has succeeded in drawing some leaders back to the fold.

But Athor's troops remain active in Jonglei, a state racked by inter-communal violence.

Manyang said the two people were killed in Kapat after raids allegedly carried out by the tribe of Murle on their Nuer rivals that left at least 37 people dead a week ago.

"The Murle came... they killed two of the cattle rearers, wounded one and took the cattle," he said.

The United Nations raised the alarm in September over violent cattle raids and revenge attacks between the Murle and Lou Nuer in South Sudan's largest state that have left around 1 000 dead since June.

The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has warned the escalating violence threatened to engulf the fledgling nation, has urged both sides to rejoin peace talks due to be held this week in Jonglei.

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