More than 2,000 people died during deadly inter-communal conflicts across South Sudan in 2020, a civil society group said Sunday.
In its annual conflict tracking report released in Juba, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said that it documented at least 2,450 cases of deaths caused by inter-communal violence across the east African country last year.
The survey finds that 80 percent of the 2,450 human lives lost were due to inter-communal violence (revenge attacks) and armed cattle raiding-mainly in Lakes, Warrap and Jonglei states respectively.
The report blames political wrangles and struggles over resources for the up pick in inter-communal violence between 2017 to 2020.
Edmund Yakani, CEPO’s executive director said the majority of the death cases are due to the on-going inter-communal violence and armed cattle raiding.
The activist added that the death toll could be much higher because some cases went undocumented.
“If the state continues to fail in mitigating these pockets of deadly inter-communal violence chance of communities resorting to building militia groups is potential besides the existing community militia groups,” Yakani stressed.
Since gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan has been rocked by several deadly inter-communal attacks mainly driven by inter-communal rivalry, over grazing land and cattle raids orchestrated by the presence of illegal arms in the hands of civilians.
Yakani warned that the situation could worsen without immediate intervention by national and local authorities to quell the violence.
He urged the leadership of the country to act immediately by dedicating attention and resources to end the ongoing violence.