A lawmaker stated that members of the Murle ethnic group attacked people from the rival Lou Nuer community left at least 47 people dead in South Sudan’s eastern Jonglei state.
“Most of the victims in the Jan. 16 attack were children and elderly people,” Philip Thon Leek Deng, a member of parliament from Duk Padiet county where the conflict took place, told reporters yesterday in Juba, the capital. “No police or army forces were in the area at the time,” he said.
“The US is “deeply disturbed” by the recent ethnic clashes in Jonglei,” US National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor stated yesterday in a statement. Vietor also announced that the violence “has escalated to an alarming series of revenge attacks in recent weeks.”
According to the United Nations, the tribal violence in Jonglei killed at least 1,000 people last year. Jonglei, is mostly covered by the Block B oil concession in which Paris-based Total SA has a 32.5 percent share.