Extreme violence in South Sudan massacres

2012-01-24 22:39

Juba - Doctors Without Borders warned on Tuesday of "extreme violence" in South Sudan's Jonglei state, where weeks of bloody ethnic violence has affected at least 120 000 people and left an unknown number dead.

Eyewitness testimonies gathered by the aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF - Medecins Sans Frontieres) include reports of babies beaten against trees and women forced to watch their children have their throats slit.

"A pattern of extreme violence is being used against civilians - women and children, some as young as one year old, have been severely injured," MSF said. "People and their scarce resources are deliberately targeted by all the armed groups," MSF added, the main healthcare provider in the remote area of attacks.

The world's newest nation is reeling from weeks of brutal revenge attacks between rival ethnic groups over cattle raids and abduction of people.

Earlier this month a column of up to 8 000 armed youths from the Lou Nuer people marched on the remote town of Pibor, home to the rival Murle, whom they blame for cattle raiding and have vowed to exterminate.

MSF collected the gruesome testimonies from wounded people still arriving at its clinic in Pibor from hiding in the bush.

"We ran and tried to hide in the high grass when we heard them approaching," a 24-year-old woman from the village of Lekuangole, who was shot in the cheek and thigh when Lou Nuer gunmen torched the village.

"But they heard my child crying... they abducted my child and slit the throats of the two boys in front of us," she told MSF, adding 18 people from her family and that of her husbands were killed.

One MSF watchman and his wife were killed in the Pibor attacks, in which an MSF clinic was looted and ransacked, while 25 local staff members are still unaccounted for three weeks later.

The government and United Nations peacekeepers mandated to protect civilians have so far been unable to assess how many people were killed, but say estimates by senior local officials that thousands were killed are inflated.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    msf  |  south sudan  |  east africa

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Du Preez: Pollard's drop-goal was vital
SA-born Kruger starts against Boks
Boks up to No 4 in rankings
Hooper cited over shoulder charge
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to day...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.