At least 40 killed in tribal clashes in S.Sudan

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At least 40 people have been killed and 19 others wounded and dozens of children and women abducted during an attack in a rural village in South Sudan's eastern state of Jonglei.

Jacob Akech Dengdit, Jonglei State Information Minister, told Xinhua by phone on Tuesday that armed men suspected to be from neighboring Boma state attacked two villages in Duk county on Monday and Tuesday morning, killing over 40 people, burnt down huts and abducted children and women.

"They first attacked the villages of Duk Panyang and Duk Payuel on Monday and took several cattle. Then this morning, the attackers killed over 40 people and wounded 19 others. They also took all cattle and abducted children and women," Dengdit said.

The attack came barely six months after the tribal leaders from the oil-rich region signed a peace deal aimed at ending a deadly cycle of inter-ethnic violence.

The pact brokered by the country's First Vice President Taban Deng Gai in May brought some calm to the region which has experienced several tribal conflicts, largely caused by rivalry over livestock and grazing land for decades. Similar clashes in late 2016 killed over 50 people.

Dengdit urged the central government in Juba to intervene before the latest violence escalated to full scale confrontation between the two communities.

"Hundreds of people have been displaced and nothing is currently functioning. Wounded people are still there helpless because all the houses and health centers have been burnt down. The government should intervene to calm down the situation," Dengdit added.

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