(Photo: Hannah McNeish/IRIN)
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan today dispatched a team to investigate reports that more than 100 people have been killed and many others injured in a cattle raid in the eastern part of the country.
"The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has received information from local officials from Walgak in west Akobo that an attack took place on Friday, 8 February, in the Manitor area," Martin Nesirky, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, told journalists today at a briefing in New York.
According to media reports, the people of Walgok were migrating north to the wetlands with cattle when they came under attack by an armed force. That information has not been confirmed by the UN Mission.
The investigative team, which includes UN personnel and officials from the Government of South Sudan, will "investigate, obtain accurate information, assess the needs of the affected population and determine what is required by the South Sudanese authorities to address the situation," the spokesperson added.
As part of its mandated role in the country, UNMISS investigates allegations of human rights abuses and supports efforts to protect civilians. The Mission has been active in consolidating peace and security, and helping to establish conditions for development in the world's newest country since South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011.