Gunmen ‘armed by Khartoum’ kill dozens in South Sudan cattle raid

South Sudanese officials today said gunmen "armed by Khartoum" have killed at least 76 people in a cattle raid, the Paris-based Sudan Tribune reported.

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It is understood the attack took place on Saturday in South Sudan’s Warrap state, with Interior Minister Alison Manani Magaya saying a “militia group” from the neighboring Unity state was responsible.

However, he did not name a specific militia group.

The Sudan Tribune said most of the victims were elderly people, women and children – adding that authorities reported that hundreds of cattle had been stolen.

The BBC cited reports saying up to 100 people may have been killed in the raid, with several others wounded.

Speaker of the state assembly, Madot Dut Deng, told the Sudan Tribune that villages belonging to the Luac Jang ethnic group in Tong East county had come under attack.

“It caught people unaware. There are neither police nor SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) forces in this area.”

Tit-for-tat cattle raids by rival ethnic groups is common in South Sudan, which declared independence last July, Agence France Presse reported.

Speaking on the sidelines of the African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa,, the United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday that tensions between the two Sudans, mostly concerning oil, posed a major threat to regional security.

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