31 December 2011
Juba — Armed members of the Lou-Nuer ethnic group today attacked Pibor town, home of the Murle tribe, in defiance of efforts by senior politicians to diffuse tension in Jonglei state’s Pibor county.
Vice President, Riek Machar, and other senior members of the South Sudanese government met with the leaders of both groups this week to try and prevent further violence.
Around 3,000 youth entered Pibor town today setting fire to houses, according to acting Pibor county commissioner Allan Keriri.
Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that the Luo-Nuer youth control most of the town including the airport. They have made the main county hospital their base inside the town.
Machar, was still in the previously captured Likwangole town trying to negotiate with the Luo-Nuer youth by phone when the attack occurred.
The youth who entered the town at around 3pm said they will continue to capture other Murle areas in search of 180 Luo-Nuer children they claim the Murle abducted in August.
The Luo-Nuer say there offensive is in response to an attack in August, blaimed on the Murle, in which more than 700 of their members, mostly women and children, by armed youth from the Murle community in a village called Pieri in August.
This year over 1,000 people have died in Jonglei state in reciprocal attacks, which began as cattle raids but have escalated into retaliatory violence along ethnic lines.
AllAfrica – All the Time