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Warrap State officials say 27 killed, 29 wounded in communal clashes

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State authorities in the restive Warrap State have said two days of communal fighting in Romathieng village of Tonj East County left 27 people dead and 29 others wounded.

Violent clashes erupted between the communities of Luany-Jang of Tonj East County, Lou Paher community of Tonj North County, and Thiik community of Tonj East County who teamed up with Lou Paher to raid cattle of the Luach Community on Sunday and Monday 16 August consecutively.

Riing Deng Ading, the state information minister said armed youth from the Lou Paher community in Tonj North County joined youth from the Thiik community of Tonj East and attacked the Luany-Jang community.

“The conflict between Luany-Jang, Lou Paher, and Thiik communities left 27 dead on both sides. The Luany-Jang community lost 19 people, Thiik lost 4 persons while Lou Paher lost 4 persons in the two days of fighting. 29 people on both sides were wounded of which 15 people are from Luany Jang, 6 from Lou Paher and the Thiik community has 8 people with serious wounds,” Minister Deng said.

He said that the state government held an emergency meeting to address the violence and condemned the senseless incident which cost the lives of innocent civilians.

The commissioner of Tonj East County, Deng Kok, confirmed that fighting erupted at Romathieng when armed youth from Lou Paher and Thiik raided over 100 head of cattle from the Luany- Jang community.

“There was fighting on Sunday last week and it resumed on Monday, 16 August where over 120 cattle were raided by the Lou Paher and Thiik armed youth from the Luany-Jang community,” Commissioner Kok explained. “When the cattle owners followed the raiders, they fell into an ambush and fighting started from 4 pm until it was dark and they could not see themselves.”

He added: “On my side (Tonj East County), 3 were killed and 4 were wounded in Sunday’s incident and again on Monday, the total of dead reached 19 people and 24 were wounded. On the Thiik side, 2 persons were killed. The total of Tonj East County reached 21 dead and 24 with serious injuries.”

Kok says the wounded needed urgent medical attention because the health center where they were taken has no medicines.

“No, they are not accessing any medical care. They were dumped at the Primary Health Care Center in the county headquarters without any medicine but I am communicating with the Red Cross to help transfer them for further treatment,” he said.

On containing the insecurity in the area, Commissioner Kok said it is a challenge because the county has no police forces and the SSPDF barracks are far.

“The SSPDF garrison is in Thiet, five miles away from the scene and I have no police personnel to intervene. I have had only one bodyguard since I received the office in March and I have been calling on the state government to send me forces and they are not responding. This is the situation I am in,” Kok lamented.

For his part, the Tonj North County commissioner, Kuol Akoon, confirmed that his side lost four people in the clashes.

“According to the information I have, Marial Lou Payam lost 4 people during the fight and I am still waiting for other reports because fighting is still going on since yesterday (Sunday) up to now and our intervention is to go with forces because the acting governor said he will come and meet us at Luony-Akeer over the issue,” Commissioner Akoon said.

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