Thirteen people were killed in a remote part of South Sudan's embattled Jonglei state this month in an attack, the nature of which quickly became contentious. Were those killed members of the militia group headed by David Yau Yau that has sowed insecurity that has left at least 100 South Sudanese soldiers dead since August, as the SPLA claims? A local official in Pibor, which has been at the epicenter of clashes, said that the victims were all civilians (pdf).
The incident is just the latest in a string of violent episodes in South Sudan's largest state over the past year, marked by deadly cattle raids and retaliatory attacks, operations by local militias, and a government-led disarmament campaign particularly rife with abuses against one community. All told, violence in Jonglei in 2012 accounts for well more than half of all people killed in the country and nearly 80 percent of its displaced people.
Traveling to Jonglei state during a relative lull in the clashes, the Enough Project sought to examine the South Sudanese government's responses to the violence and its efforts to prevent further bloodshed, especially during the upcoming dry season when communities migrate in search of water and pastureland. The findings are published today in a new report titled, "'Sometimes We See Ourselves as Apart': South Sudan's Response to Violence in Jonglei."
An accompanying video pinpoints some of the root causes of violence in the state:[view whole blog post ]