, JUBA, South Sudan, Feb 10 – Over 100 people including women and children were killed on Friday in a cattle raid by heavily-armed rebels in South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state, the governor told AFP.
The people of Walgak in Akobo County were migrating north to the wetlands with cattle “and were being escorted by an army platoon when they came under attack by a huge force using automatic weapons,” Jonglei governor Kuol Manyang said on Sunday.
He said 103 people were killed, including 14 soldiers from the platoon, while the rest were civilians, mostly women and children.
Deputy military spokesman Kella Kueth confirmed the incident and said some 500 people were still missing.
He was not however able to confirm the military casualties.
Manyang said the raiders were a mixture of civilians and armed rebels and were all ethnic Murle from Pibor County in Jonglei.
Six months after South Sudan declared independence from Sudan, its eastern Jonglei state was engulfed in ethnic violence when thousands of youths from the Lou Nuer tribe marched on Pibor vowing to wipe out the Murle.
The UN says over 600 people were killed in that attack and around 300 more in smaller reprisal attacks. Local estimates were much higher, running into the thousands.