The United Nations Mission in South Sudan said Tuesday that more than 1,000 people have been killed and 400 abducted in communal conflicts in the past six months.
South Sudan is struggling to emerge from six years of conflict which formally ended with the creation of a power-sharing government in February.
Violence has soared in recent months between rival communities, often over cattle raiding which leads to cycles of brutal revenge killings.
‘More than 1,000 people died in Warrap in the past six months … there are a lot of people who want to go on and carry out revenge attacks for those that have died,’ UN special envoy David Shearer said.
Shearer warned that once the dry season arrives in January, the potential for further conflict in the central state was high.
Meanwhile in eastern Jonglei, ‘hundreds’ died in fighting this year ‘and more than 400 people were abducted’.
‘The potential for conflict in Jonglei as a result … is very very high,’ said Shearer.
He called for dialogue between communities and said UNMISS would deploy peacekeepers to several temporary bases in some of the hotspots for violence.
Observers have warned that the communal violence risked derailing a peace agreement signed in September 2018 to end the war that killed nearly 400,000 people.
Key tenets of the deal, such as the unification of warring forces under one army, remain stuck.