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article image3000 villagers reported killed in ethnic massacre in South Sudan

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     Jan 6, 2012 in World
More than 3,000 people have been slaughtered in South Sudan during a week of clashes between two tribes over a cattle rustling feud.
The violence started when around 6,000 heavily armed youths from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on the remote town of Pibor, home to the rival Murle people.The attackers killed hundreds of people, burned down huts, looted a hospital, stole tens of thousands of cows and only withdrew after government troops opened fire. Pibor County Commissioner Joshua Konyi said they have been counting the bodies.
There have been mass killings, a massacre. We have been out counting the bodies, and we calculate so far that 2,182 women and children were killed and 959 men died, 1,293 children were abducted and 375,186 cows stolen.
A cattle-rustling feud in South East Sudan dates back to centuries. Cattle theft between tribes is blamed as one of the prime causes of inter-tribal conflict. Last year, the Lou Nuer attacked several Murle villages, stole cattle and killed more than 600 people. The Murle responded by attacking several Lou Nuer villages, stealing cattle and killing hundreds.
Kouider Zerrouk, a UN spokesman in South Sudan said it was very difficult to get an accurate picture since the area is very remote and accessible only by air. United Nations had stationed 400 peacekeepers in Pibor, trying to defend the town alongside about 400 South Sudanese government troops. But when it was clear that the peacekeepers and government soldiers were vastly outnumbered, Pibor’s residents were advised to flee. It is reported that many people may have drowned in a river as they fled the attacks.
More about Massacre, south sudan, etnic riots
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