At least 127 people were killed and 32 others injured following a deadly altercation between South Sudanese troops and local armed youth over a scarf in South Sudan’s Warrap State, officials and the military said on Tuesday.
It all began on Tuesday after the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces soldiers demanded that the youth surrender a red scarf they were holding, which in the troops’ eyes symbolised battle-readiness.
According to a report by a local publication Daily Nation, Gen Lul Ruai, the SSPDF spokesman, sad that refusal to surrender the scarf triggered an exchange of words, then fire.
“The armed youth refused to hand over the red scarf to the SSPDF soldiers,” he said.
The soldiers argued that wearing a red scarf symbolises someone in combat, and the ensuing quarrel led to the first killings that triggered retaliation from local armed youth.
According to Gen Ruai, the two days’ consecutive clashes left 45 SSPDF soldiers and 82 civilians dead.