More than 1,000 killed in South Sudan in first half of 2020

MORE THAN 1,000 KILLED IN SOUTH SUDAN IN FIRST HALF OF 2020

More than 1,000 people were killed in clashes between ethnic groups in crisis-wracked South Sudan in the first half of this year, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The death toll relates specifically to violence in two regions, said David Shearer, the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

More than 1,000 people were killed in the central northern state of Warrap, while hundreds more died in the central state of Jonglei and more than 400 people were kidnapped, Shearer said.

He warned of possible further fighting in Jonglei during the dry season, when shepherds increasingly move around looking for pasture and water for their cows.

For decades, there has been repeated violence and conflicts in the East African country. Shortly after South Sudan's independence in 2011, civil war broke out in the state.

President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar formed a unity government at the beginning of this year. However, violence persists between ethnic groups, often regarding resources such as land and water.

Often, raids on rival settlements involve killing and kidnapping inhabitants and stealing livestock, which in turn lead to retaliatory attacks.

Shearer says violence has been exacerbated by a power vacuum in many counties as many posts have not been filled since the unity government was formed.

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