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HOA Political Scene #2!
August 11, 2009

HOA Political Scene 2!

Who Profits from the Tribal Clashes in Jonglei?

The latest report from Southern Sudan in English:

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News says tensions in southern Sudan are rising. This is a bad news.

A week after enter-ethnic clashes that left at least 185 people mainly women and children dead, the tension seems to escalate. Meanwhile, aid workers said malnutrition level is rising following high numbers of displaced people, while some Lou Nuer said that the Murle attacked them and the Jikany Nuer blocked boats from getting to them.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called the Southern Government of Sudan and the UN today 11 August to energize their efforts and protect the civilians after weeks of tensions in Akobo County in Jonglei State in Southern Sudan.

"To protect civilians, the Southern government needs to engage over a sustained period with state and local authorities from the communities involved, and with youth leaders in the cattle camps who carry out the attacks, to address the root causes of the conflict," said Georgette Gagnon, HRW's Africa director. "They also need to track warning signs of revenge attacks, and deploy security forces accordingly." He added.

Goi Jooyul Yol, Akobo County Commissioner pointed out that the Murle attacked women and children who camped at Geni River in Mareng, 40km southwest of Akobo town for three weeks to catch fish. Instead, the Murle have caught them.

Meanwhile, the Sudan Tribune quoted Chief Ismail Konyi, the leader of the Murle community calling for peace building between the communities in Jonglei. He said in Juba "If you ask who recently attacked the other in the area, you will only hear the name of a community because nobody is determined to go further and find out who was behind the raid and what actually caused that attack. For any incident, there must be a cause and this cause, if not addressed, results into losing either lives of innocent people or properties."

UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned that the violence hampered the supply efforts of the program. UN spokesperson Marie Okabe said, "WFP and its partners have called on the government to put an end to inter-tribal fighting, which is endangering the delivery of humanitarian aid." Michelle Iseminger, head of WFP in Southern Sudan told the press "Food assistance is the number-one humanitarian need in Akobo, besides protection."

The Jikany Nuer upstream from Akobo, who have also clashed with the Lou Nuer, has blocked the main river route at Nassir and the roads to Akobo are closed most of the year due to rains.

Many children are suffering from malnutrition; therefore, aid agency Medair has opened an extra outpatient-feeding programme targeting children. The program had been providing inpatient paediatric care in Akobo County hospital since June.

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