Posted at 02:36 PM ET, 08/22/2011

South Sudan clash kills 600 over cattle raids

Just six weeks after a jubilant Independence Day in South Sudan, violence has struck the new country. (Thomas Mukoya/Reuters)
Six weeks into its life as an independent country, South Sudan faced a devastating crisis this weekend. Clashes broke out on Thursday and lased through the day. At least 600 people are dead, possibly another 1,000 people are injured and 26,000 cattle stolen.

Cattle is one of the largest sources and indicators of wealth in the nation, and two tribes have escalated tensions over a series of large-scale cattle raids, the United Nations reports.

After 26,000 cattle were stolen, members of the Murle tribe attacked the villages of the Lou Nuer, CNN reports. Between January and June, nearly 2,400 people died, most as a result of cattle rustling incidents.

“This cycle of violence must stop,” Hilde Johnson, the U.N.’s Special Representative for South Sudan said. “That so many people have been killed and injured again in such wanton destruction is unacceptable.”

South Sudan ended a two-decade civil war with Sudan in 2005, officially became Africa’s 54th nation last month.

The Associated Press reports: “The new country continues to struggle with internal violence, including cattle raids, a form of cultural and economic violence between tribes that is devastating communities.”

By  |  02:36 PM ET, 08/22/2011

Tags:  Daily Catch

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company