Inter-tribal peace talks have followed dry season battles for centuries, but the increased violence this year has prompted worries over southern unity as a fragile north-south peace accord is implemented, Reuters explains.
This year more than 700 people were killed in marshy and remote
Many of the south’s soldiers are deployed to protect the northern border and soldiers did not intervene in Jonglei. The south Sudanese army has 60 000 soldiers on its payroll, but UN experts believe there may be more than twice that.
“The lack of action by the government of southern
“They should somehow bring the people who did the crimes to justice,” she said, warning of impunity for the armed groups, typically made up of young men.
A report released this week by the Swiss-based Small Arms Survey said disarmament and controlling internal fighting was especially difficult for the war-ravaged south, which is focused on defending its border with the north and containing spoilers.
“The (south) continues to be driven by the belief that a confrontation with the north is likely,” the report said. Patchy disarmament attempts have failed to improve security, instead highlighting tribal divisions, the report continued.
Southern President Salva Kiir has already announced a new civilian disarmament campaign but the Small Arms Survey said a renewed attempt at tribal reconciliation is crucial for improving security and building confidence.
“In the absence of visible peace-building and development, the government will be unable to meet the south’s greatest challenge, which is to unify its people,” the report said.
It is unclear why soldiers did not try to protect civilians in Jonglei. Army sources have said that the central government issued orders not to intervene in the clashes, possibly because of worries over the implications of soldiers shooting civilians in gun battles.
The Small Arms Survey said that there have been reports that attacking Lou Nuer had been given guns by soldiers, some of whom may have defected to fight with their ethnic kin.
The United Nations said earlier this week that more people have died in tribal violence in post-war southern