[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): U.N. says 600 die in South Sudan clashes

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Tue Aug 23 2011 - 16:41:31 EDT

U.N. says 600 die in South Sudan clashes

Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:03pm GMT

(Recasts with U.N. statement, previous CAIRO)

UNITED NATIONS Aug 22 (Reuters) - Clashes in South Sudan have left at least
600 people dead and hundreds wounded, and possibly displaced more than a
quarter million people, the U.N. Mission in South Sudan said on Monday.

The U.N. mission in the country, known as UNMISS, has reported deadly tribal
clashes in recent days in South Sudan, signaling instability just weeks
after the region gained independence from Khartoum.

"This cycle of violence must stop," said U.N. special representative in
South Sudan, Hilde Johnson.

"That so many people have been killed and injured again in such wanton
destruction is unacceptable," she said in a statement. "I urge restraint by
both sides of this tragic conflict. Reconciliation efforts are now urgently

The fighting in the region is often sparked by disputes over cattle -- a
vital part of the indigenous economy.

The statement said at least 600 people were killed and that UNMISS had
unconfirmed reports of 750-985 people wounded. Local reports received by
UNMISS suggest that between 26,000 and 30,000 cattle were stolen during the
attacks and many homes destroyed, the mission said.

It added that state authorities told UNMISS that more than 250,000 people
have been displaced by the fighting in Pieri, Motat and Pulchol villages in
Uror county, Jonglei state, while nearly 200 people may have been abducted.

Johnson also condemned the looting and destruction of humanitarian
facilities in South Sudan.

"The humanitarian impartiality of such facilities must be respected by all,"
she said.

The north and south split on July 9 in line with the results of a January
referendum on southern independence required under a 2005 peace that ended
decades of north-south civil war. (Reporting by Louis Charbonneau at the
United Nations and Omar Fahmy in Cairo; editing by Christopher Wilson)

C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved


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