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Nine killed in inter-clan fighting in South Sudan

The clashes erupted between the Panyon and Dhiei sections of the Dinka tribe after an accusation of murder, according to reports.
By Fred Lambert Contact the Author   |   July 14, 2015 at 7:50 PM

RUMBEK, South Sudan, July 14 (UPI) -- Clashes between two factions within the same tribe resulted in nine people being killed and 12 injured in South Sudan's Lakes State on Tuesday, according to reports.

Radio Tamazuj quoted Lakes State's acting information minister, Jok Ayom, as saying the clashes broke out when members of the Panyon clan accused members of the Dhiei clan of killing a person from their side.

Both clans are part of the Dinka tribe, an ethnic group loyal to President Salva Kiir.

Five members of the Dhiei clan were killed and seven wounded, while the Panyon clan suffered four killed and five wounded.

Security forces were sent to halt the fighting, which officials have attributed to an unresolved dispute. Issues of land ownership and cattle looting are reportedly motivating armed tribal clashes in South Sudan.

After gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, the country collapsed into civil war in 2013 when former Vice President Riek Machar defected and led a rebellion against Kiir.

Fighting has pitted the president's Dinka tribe and pro-government forces against rebels in Machar's Nuer ethnic group.

The United Nations last week reported 1.5 million South Sudanese have been displaced by the conflict, while thousands have been killed.

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Thursday said the South Sudanese government had "squandered its legitimacy" and accused both the rebels and government forces of "committing appalling crimes against innocent women, children and the elderly."

Her remarks come after the U.N. Mission in South Sudan released a report last month documenting widespread human rights abuses by the Sudan People's Liberation Army, including raping and burning of girls.

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