Galleries: Inter-Tribal Violence, South Sudan. 2009
When the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005, it brought to an end over twenty years of civil war. A bloody conflict between North and South Sudan that had cost the lives of over two million. It should have been a time of peace, with South Sudan granted semi-autonomy until a referendum on independence, due to be held in 2011. However 2009 saw a sharp increase in inter-tribal violence. With over 2000 killed, South Sudan superseded Dafur in the number of violent deaths.
There is widespread feeling that the North is encouraging this violence, as it's in its interest to see the region destabilised during the run-up to 2010's elections and the following referendum. While no direct link can be established, the dramatic increase of weapons in such a poor region points to outside influence. There are large oil reserves in the South and it's hard to see the Khartoum government relinquishing them.
The worst of this fighting has been in Jonglei state where the Lou Nuer and Murle have been engaged in bloody tit-for-tat raids. While cattle raids are common, this recent violence has been on a different scale.