Athor attack in south Sudan's Jonglei 'killed
George Athor did not attend
the January signing ceremony
Fighting in south Sudan last week left some 200 people dead, officials say -
double the previous estimate.
Most of those killed in the rebel attack were
civilians such as women, children and priests, a minister said.
The clashes between fighters loyal to rebel leader George Athor and south
Sudan's army come as the region prepare for independence from the north
following last month's referendum.
Some 99% of people voted to secede from the north.
A senior official of south Sudan's ruling party accused the north of
backing the rebel attacks.
The north has denied previous similar accusations.
The referendum on independence for the oil-rich south was part of a deal
to end decades of north-south conflict.
Mr Athor took up arms last year, alleging fraud in state elections, but
agreed to a ceasefire last month just before the historic vote.
"We express our sorrow and pain after the loss of
nearly 200 people - 197 people in Fangak county as a result of the heinous
attack by George Athor's forces on a defenceless civilian population," said
Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) secretary general Pagan Amum.
The south's Humanitarian Affairs Minister James Kok, who has just
returned from the area, told Reuters news agency that 201 people had died.
Jonglei is the south's most populous state.
The BBC's Peter Martell in the southern capital, Juba, says the fighting
is another sign of the challenges the south faces in bringing its people
together and improving security.
The week-long referendum vote itself passed off peacefully, but tension
remains high in parts of the oil-rich area which straddles the north and
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has promised to accept the outcome of
Southern Sudan is to become the world's newest independent state on 9
Sudan: A country divided
211 killed: S.Sudan says Khartoum arming rebels
Tuesday 15th February, 2011
(Source: San Diego Union-Tribune)
JUBA, Sudan -; Political leaders in Southern Sudan on Tuesday angrily
accused Sudan's Khartoum-based government of arming a rebel leader they
say killed more than 200 southerners last week, a charge that could
increase north-south tensions as the south prepares for independence.
Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management James Kok Ruea
labeled last week's attack by rebel leader George Athor a "massacre."
Ruea said 201 southern civilians and security forces died during the
attack in Jonglei state and that 10 died later in the hospital.
He said nearly 160 of the dead were civilians, including children, the
elderly and the internally displaced.
"They were chased into the
river. I was the one who put them into a mass grave," an emotional
sounding Ruea told The Associated Pres... ...
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