There have been 3 days of violent clashes in Wau between Dinka and Luo(Jur Chol) communities, which started in Nazareth and have since spread to Hai Kosti. At the heart of the current skirmish is a cattle-raiding incident that took place in late January. Cattle herders from Tonj state came under attack from rebels killing 6 people, the Governments of Tonj and Wau states intervened and the situation had calmed down few days ago but tensions remained high.
Then an army convoy from Division 5, which was traveling between Busseri and Wau town, fell into an ambush by suspected rebels yesterday killing six soldiers including, Brigadier General Peter Par Jiek and Major Bol Chut Dhuol, the brother of the Governor of Western Lakes Matur Chut Dhuol. The convoy had taken ammunition to Bagarri and was attacked on their way back to Wau town.
The SPLA then this morning carried out house-to-house searches in the neighbourhood of Logologo for rebels who are suspected to have infiltrated the town and are hiding there. Tensions have been high in the town following the killing of the two officers with heavy gunshots ringing out early this morning.
The situation has calmed down this afternoon with many civilians, residents of Hai Nazareth, seeking shelter at UNMISS camps according to a source in Wau. Also the Catholic Church announced about 3,000 civilians were seeking shelter at their compound in addition to a number of several thousand IDPs who were already living there. Eighty-four people arrived at the UNMISS POC site.
UNMISS was under Lockdown following the tense morning of the clashes this morning and only conducted patrols in the town this afternoon.The UNMISS spokesperson Daniel Dickson stated that the mission mounted two patrols into Wau on Monday and said it had observed the bodies of 16 civilians in a hospital. There were ten people who had been injured.
The Governor of Wau county, who was in Juba while the clashes took place this morning in Wau, visited President Salva Kiir at J1 to update him on the security situation in the state as improved this afternoon.
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