Over 60 killed in South Sudan cattle battles: Officials

This file photo taken on September 23, 2017 shows Sudanese members of the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary force backed by the Sudanese government to fight rebels and guard the Sudan-Libya border, riding in the back of a pickup truck in the town of Umm al-Qura, northwest of Nyala in South Darfur province. (AFP)
Updated 09 December 2017

Over 60 killed in South Sudan cattle battles: Officials

JUBA: At least 60 people have been killed and dozens wounded in battles over livestock in South Sudan, local officials said Friday, the latest in a series of attacks between rival communities.
Battles over cattle between rival factions of the Dinka people, the Rup and Pakam clans, broke out on Dec. 6 in the central area of Western Lakes, some 250 km northwest of the capital Juba.
“More than 60 people were killed, and dozens wounded,” Akol Paul Kordit, a local MP who also serves as the country’s deputy information minister, wrote in a statement.
Fighting continued with the latest raid at dawn on Friday, it said.
Rival pastoralist communities in South Sudan have a long and bloody history of tit-for-tat raids in which cattle are rustled and property looted. Women are commonly raped and children abducted, adding fuel to revenge attacks.
Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny confirmed the “senseless” attacks, and said security chiefs had been summoned to a meeting on the violence.
“We condemn it in the strongest terms possible,” he said.
Such attacks have increased amidst the breakdown of society during the four-year civil war which began in December 2013.
Half the country is in need of emergency food and a third has been forced from their homes since then, according to the UN.

Italy urges EU to ready plan for Libya refugee flight, work on joint initiative

Updated 56 min 34 sec ago

Italy urges EU to ready plan for Libya refugee flight, work on joint initiative

  • Moavero was speaking at joint news conference in Rome with Ghassan Salame
  • Moavero says situation in Libya required a lot of “time and support”

ROME: Italy’s government has written to the European Union asking it to ready a plan of action to deal with a possible flight of refugees from the armed conflict in Libya, Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero said on Wednesday.

Moavero was speaking at a joint news conference in Rome after talks with the UN envoy on Libya, Ghassan Salame.

He also said that the European Union was working on developing a Europe-wide initiative for the country, as the bloc fears the emergence of fresh terrorist activities.

Moavero said the situation in Libya required a lot of “time and support.”

Salame said that contacts had been established and he hoped to see results before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins in early May.

"I hope that the contacts we have established or re-established among the two belligerents can bear fruit before the holy month of Ramadan," Salame told a news conference.

Salame, visiting Rome to enlist support from Libya's former colonial power for a possible ceasefire, did not elaborate on the nature of the contacts with the two warring groups.

Italy, whose southern islands lie very close to the North African country's coast, fears a mass exodus of refugees from Libya which is already a jumping-off point for boatloads of African migrants seeking to a new life in Europe.

Libya has been in a state of chaos since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 with Western intervention and the latest flare-up threatens to disrupt oil flows and leave a power vacuum that militants could exploit.