Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Fifteen people, including a regional commissioner, have been killed after their convoy was ambushed in the eastern southern region of Pibor, near the Ethiopian border, a senior official said Wednesday.

The Minister of Information of the Pibor Administrative Region, Abraham Kellang, said that armed youths suspected of belonging to the Aniwak ethnicity from Fuchala province ambushed the parade yesterday morning.

Clashes between rival ethnic groups in South Sudan are frequent, often resulting from cattle theft, disputes over natural resources, or in response to previous attacks.

Weapons are prevalent in South Sudan after the five-year civil war that began in 2013.

Keelang told AFP that the convoy had traveled only ten kilometres when it came under fire “killing the commissioner as well as 14 others”.

In addition to the commissioner of Mount Boma County, the dead included the deputy commander of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces and a woman.

“We found out that the team that ambushed the commissioner’s convoy was from Aniwak,” Kellang said, adding that one of the attackers was shot dead. It was not immediately clear what motivated the attack. But the information minister accused a former commissioner sacked in the province of Fuchala of mobilizing the Anyuak.

South Sudan is one of the poorest countries despite its large oil reserves, and has suffered from war, ongoing natural disasters, hunger, economic collapse, and sectarian conflict.

The United Nations says 80 percent of the 11 million people will need humanitarian aid in 2024.

A power-sharing peace deal was struck in 2018, but many of its provisions have not been implemented due to ongoing conflicts.

 

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