From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Tue Sep 22 2009 - 06:47:46 EDT
More than 100 dead in south Sudan attack-officials
Sep 22, 2009 12:36pm EDT
*Surge in violence threatens peace deal, southern stability
*Some locals say attack was revenge for cattle rustling
By Skye Wheeler
JUBA, Sudan, Sept 22 (Reuters) - More than 100 people were killed when
tribesmen raided a south Sudan village, burning buildings and attacking
churchgoers, officials said on Monday, in a further escalation of violence
in the oil-producing region.
A surge of tribal killings this year has sparked fears for the stability of
Sudan's underdeveloped south, still emerging from two decades of civil war.
Fighters from the Lou Nuer tribe attacked the village of Duk Padiet, home to
a rival Dinka group, on Sunday morning while many of the villagers were in
church, officials told Reuters.
The extent of the carnage only emerged on Monday when officials reached the
remote settlement in Jonglei state.
A total of 51 villagers and 28 southern soldiers, national security and
police officers guarding the settlement were killed, said southern army
spokesman Kuol Diem Kuol.
"From the attackers 23 bodies were found on the ground. These attackers were
found in uniform with arms and organized in a military organisation in
platoons with G3 rifles," he said.
The United Nations estimates more than 1,200 people have died in ethnic
attacks in south Sudan this year.
Some of the fiercest fighting has been in Jonglei, parts of which are
included in a largely unexplored oil concession operated by France's Total.
Southern politicians have accused their former civil war foes from north
Sudan of arming rival tribes to destabilise the region in the build-up to
elections in 2010 and a referendum on southern secession in 2011. Khartoum
denies the accusation.
THOUSANDS FLED AS BUILDINGS BURNED
"This is a campaign against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (the faltering
2005 accord that ended Sudan's north-south civil war) and against the people
of Duk," Mayen Ngor, the commissioner of surrounding Duk County, told
Reuters by phone from near the scene of the attack.
Ngor said the attackers burned down 260 huts, the police station and local
government buildings, injuring 46 people and forcing thousands to flee.
Around two million people died in the 1983-2005 war between Sudan's Muslim
north and mostly Christian south. The conflict also set southern tribes
against each other as the north backed rival southern militias.
Some analysts and southern leaders say they fear the new violence marks a
return of the southern militias, backed by groups trying to undermine the
peace deal, or local leaders, strengthening their power bases in the run-up
The 2005 peace deal which promised elections and a referendum also gave the
south a share of the country's oil wealth and set up a semi-autonomous
North-south relations have remained tense and analysts say many of the
northern political elite are nervous about the referendum, and the prospects
of losing the south, the source of most of Sudan's proven oil reserves.
South Sudan has long been plagued by ethnic clashes, mostly fought over
cattle and related feuds. But observers have been shocked by the scale of
this year's violence, where tribal fighters have attacked villages and
killed women and children.
Members of the Lou Nuer tribe this month denied their fighters had joined
militias, telling Reuters most of the recent raids were revenge attacks for
past cattle rustling.
"It is just cattle raiding ... It's just revenge," said William Khor Reath,
executive director for Akobo County, a mostly Lou Nuer area in Jonglei
Traditional disputes have been exacerbated by a ready supply of guns left
over from the civil war. (Editing by Andrew Heavens and Tim Pearce)
C Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved
INTERVIEW-U.S. raid in Somalia raises concerns-Kenyan minister
Sep 22, 2009 8:48pm EDT
* U.S. "lone ranger" behavior doesn't work - Kenya
* Kenya urges stronger mandate for Somalia peacekeepers
By Claudia Parsons
NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. raid in Somalia that killed a senior
al Qaeda militant last week raises questions about "lone ranger behavior" by
the United States, Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula said on Monday.
U.S. special forces killed Kenya-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, 28, who was
wanted for a hotel bombing and a failed missile attack on an Israeli
airliner leaving Kenya's Mombasa airport in 2002.
Asked about the U.S. raid, which analysts say risks further inflaming
anti-Western opinion a region of growing concern, Wetangula expressed mixed
"To the extent that the United States has said that the operation had some
limited success ... if their operation has any value to add, we would
welcome it," Wetangula told Reuters in New York where he was attending the
U.N. General Assembly.
"What I do not feel comfortable with is the fact that the U.S. would want to
conduct operations in our neighborhood without information or cooperation or
collaboration," he said.
"That lone ranger behavior has often not succeeded in many places."
Nabhan was killed by U.S. special forces who struck a car in the rebel-held
south of the Horn of Africa state.
He is said to have built the truck bomb that killed 15 people at an
Israeli-owned beach hotel on the Kenyan coast in 2002 and was accused of
involvement in a simultaneous but failed missile attack on the Israeli
U.S. President Barack Obama has criticized his predecessor George W. Bush
for acting unilaterally to the detriment of relations with the rest of the
Wetangula said countries in the region were actively engaged in supporting
the U.N.-backed government of Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, which
faces a growing insurgency by Islamist rebels of al Shabaab.
"(Regional countries) would welcome engagement with partners. But when we
get to know after the fact, of course it raises some justifiable degrees of
concern as to the value of our partnership in certain respects," Wetangula
Escalating violence in Somalia fueled by an influx of "mercenary fighters"
from abroad was the greatest security challenge to the region, he said.
Last week's twin suicide car bombs that killed 17 peacekeepers at the main
AU military base in Mogadishu reinforced the need to expand the mandate of
the force to include peace-building as well as peace-keeping, he said.
"Where is the peace? There is no peace." (Editing by Chris Wilson)
C Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved
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