At least 12 people were killed early on Wednesday morning, September 9, as gunmen attacked a herder community in Unity state's Mayom county. Reports indicate that 13 other people were injured in the attack. Gunmen believed to be from neighboring Warrap state reportedly launched the attack at around 01:00 (local time) on Wednesday, targeting the Ria Payam area of Mayom. Over 200 head of cattle were also stolen in the raid.
Further communal violence, including retaliatory attacks, are likely in the region over the medium term.
Areas of South Sudan have long been plagued by communal violence, fuelled by tensions between the Dinka, Nuer, and Murle communities. However, cattle raiding attacks in the region have increased significantly in recent months, with hundreds being killed and thousands displaced in an escalating campaign of violence between rival herder communities. The government has launched several initiatives to prevent cattle raiding and retaliatory attacks, but tensions between communities remain high and the capability of security forces to intervene is severely limited.
Due to the high threat of violent crime, rebel activity, and communal violence, all travel to South Sudan should be subject to a thorough localized threat assessment and undertaken in coordination with a trusted security provider. Travelers are advised to subject all travel, particularly to remote areas, to strict journey management protocols. Avoid travel at night, vary routines, and maintain a heightened sense of situational awareness. Monitor local media sources to remain apprised of security-related developments and adhere to any directives issued by local authorities.
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