Four people were killed and seven others wounded on Tuesday in Tonj South County of Warrap State following renewed inter-communal fighting between Apuk Jurwiir and Yar Ayiey communities on one side and Thony community on the other.
The Thony community has occasionally clashed with the Yar Ayiey and Apuk communities over land ownership and watering points around swampy areas of River Tonj.
According to the head of the security committee for Tonj South county, Manyiel Ngoth, the Tuesday clashes which occurred at Majok Akot locality was accidental.
Manyiel told Radio Tamazuj on Thursday that some unruly youth from either side sometimes try to raid cattle and in the process of trying to protect oneself and cattle it leads to unplanned confrontation.
"The youth from the side of Apuk and Yar communities take their cows to Toch (swampy areas) during this dry season and so are youth from Thony community. When they meet they get into a confrontation as some try to raid while others try to defend themselves and their cattle. That was the starting of the clash on that day, it was not planned from either side. Four people are confirmed dead and seven wounded from both sides of the clash," he added.
He said calm has returned to the area after the unfortunate incident while calling on the warring communities to give peace a chance to peace in the county.
The Secretary-General for Defunct Tonj State, Gabriel Awan, confirmed the Tuesday fighting. The SG attributed the new trend of fighting to what he termed as ‘existing conflict.’
Awan said the state government has commissioned a security committee and local authorities to de-escalate tension and clashes in the area.
"The community of Tonj South clashed over existing conflict and the government of the state has sent the committee to talk to the chief and cattle camp leaders over the issue in which Apuk Jurwiir and Yar Ayiey community on one side fought with Thony community on the other side," Awan said. "Our local authorities and state committee are working to ensure that fighting cannot escalate further."
The conflict among communities residing on the opposite sides of the River appears to be seasonal because it subsides during the wet season and tends to escalate during the dry season.
According to locals, the Thony community is located South of the river while Yar and Apuk communities are to the north of the river.
Source: Radio Tamazuj