Fighting claims over 100 lives
Fighting broke out in the Western Lakes State between two Dinka clans, the Rup and Pakam, on Friday 8th December 2017. In what was described by the local authorities in the Chueicok area as a revenge attack, the clash left at least 80 people dead and over one hundred wounded. Western Lakes State Minister of Information Shadrack Bol Machok said the authorities tried to end the conflict between these two clans with dialogue but have failed. He therefore called on the president to declare a state of emergency in Western Lakes State and to deploy an army division to disarm the people in the area to reduce the escalation of violence.
On Monday 10th December, MP Dhoruai Mabor Teny of Rumbek East County declared that the death toll had risen to 173 people and those wounded is estimated at 213.
Call for an arms embargo
The Centre for Peace and Justice(CPJ), a human rights body, called on the United Nations to impose an arms embargo on the South Sudanese government. This call is a reaction to the violence that broke out in Western Lakes State, leading to the death of over one hundred people. The rights body said that the government failed to control the flow of arms into the country and guns often fell into the wrong hands. The CPJ believes that if an embargo is imposed, it will help the South Sudan government to control the arms already present in the country.
9000 refugees return
Over 9000 South Sudanese who fled the fighting in Pageri and Nimule counties in Imatong State have returned to their homes. The governor of Imotong State, Tobolio Alberio Oromo, on Wednesday confirmed the return of the refugees and said that they are need of humanitarian assistance in the form of food, water and shelter. He called on humanitarian agencies to come their aid.
Nine aid workers killed says UN
The United Nations said that a total of nine aid workers were killed in South Sudan in November alone. Six of those workers were killed in Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria and Lakes States. The fighting in the country has also forced the relocation of at least 47 aid workers in six incidents in Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, and Unity.
Kiir declares a state of emergency
President Salva Kiir declared a state of emergency in the three states Gok, Eastern Lakes and Western Lakes State, where inter communal clashes had escalated with the death toll in the Western Lakes State exceeding one hundred. The president made the decree on the national broadcaster SSBC and ordered the army to disarm the youth. He also ordered soldiers that were on a disarmament mission in Gogrial to prepare to for new assignments in the three states.
The Centre for Peace and Justice however came out to condemn the state of emergency. Tito Anthony, the coordinator of the Centre for Peace and Justice Centre (CPJ) said that the state of emergency is not always the solution to the conflict in Lakes state. The state of emergency has never worked out any solutions, in fact, it makes it worse, the CPJ suggested dialogue as the solution to the conflict.