South Sudan on map

At least 45 people were killed during ethnic clashes in the volatile nation of South Sudan, an official said on Tuesday.

About 18 others were wounded when heavily armed men from the Atok Buk ethnic group attacked several villages of the Apuk Parek ethnic group in Tonj North County in northern Warrap State, the county’s acting commissioner, Andrew Deng, told dpa.

According to Mr Deng, several villages were burned to the ground in the attack, while thousands of residents had fled the area.

Local authorities believe the raid was a revenge attack for a similar incident several weeks earlier.

Ethnic clashes have occurred for centuries between ethnic groups in the East African nation.

Frequent attacks include cattle raiding and sometimes the abduction of children to be used as domestic slaves.

Earlier in June, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned that armed violence causing death, injury and displacement was on the rise in various regions of South Sudan.

“Our surgical teams are working overtime, with national and international travel restrictions (due to the Covid-19 pandemic) making it difficult to bring in reinforcements,’’ the ICRC said in a statement.

(dpa/NAN)