22 September 2009 – United Nations officials in Sudan have strongly condemned a deadly attack at the weekend on a village in the south of the country that has claimed dozens of lives and is the latest in a series of ethnically-based attacks against civilians that have provoked mounting international concern.
Media reports say around 80 people were killed, nearly 50 others wounded and around 2,000 homes were burned when gunmen attacked the village of Duk Padiet in Jonglei state on Sunday morning.
Last month tribal militiamen attacked residents of the village of Wernyol, killing numerous civilians, and many other attacks have been reported across the south since the start of the year.
The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) issued a statement deploring the latest attack and voicing concern about the escalation of violence this year.
“Some of the more recent attacks have deliberately targeted women and children and have had little or nothing to do with cattle rustling, a traditional cause of violence between neighbouring tribes and ethnic groups in the region,” the statement noted.
“This will become a source of mounting concern as the country heads towards the April 2010 national election and the referenda in southern Sudan and the Abyei region scheduled for 2011.”
The mission said it was concerned “that there may be elements that are directing attacks against institutions of the state. UNMIS urges the Government of Southern Sudan [GoSS] and other duly constituted authorities to further strengthen their efforts to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of these crimes.”
The mission flew the Governor of Jonglei and the GoSS Minister of Internal Affairs to the Duk Padiet area yesterday and offered its support to “all efforts to contain violence, promote reconciliation and address the humanitarian needs of the affected population in the coming days.”
UNMIS added that it was by the efforts of the Jonglei state Government to restore order and deter retaliatory attacks following Sunday’s killings and to pursue dialogue among all parties.
spotted by RS