Southern Sudan: rebels and unemployment

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A group called the South Sudan Liberation Army began attacks yesterday in a new rebellion in Southern Sudan, adding to the violence that has killed over 800 people since the January secession referendum. The SSLA set off explosives in Unity State and clashed with the military later that day.

In addition to the election-fuelled fighting, the high rate of unemployment has led to a rise in violent cattle raids in Southern Sudan, as reported by NPR this weekend. Cattle have an important place in the Sudanese economy, including as dowries for weddings.

As one former cattle rustler told NPR, explaining that he can’t get a job and the government restricts the amount of corn he can grow, "How can we live? It's the only way to get married, the only way to survive…. If you don't want me to raid cows or to plant, then give me a job. I need a job."

For more information on Sudan, see our page Sudan: Nation at a turning point