By Skye Wheeler
JUBA, Sudan, May 29 (Reuters) - At least 54 people -- mostly women and children -- were killed in intra-tribal violence in south Sudan early this month, prompting the government to send troops to restore law and order, officials said on Tuesday.
Those who died were cultivating crops on May 5 when they were attacked and shot dead by members of a neighbouring tribe, said David Mayo, a member of southern Sudan's parliament. Of the dead, 48 were women and children.
Mayo said although cattle raiding and conflict over land access have plagued the two communities for many years, the May violence was the worst in Sudan's semi-autonomous south since a 2005 peace agreement was signed.
"The governor of Eastern Equatoria State has sent troops there to restore law and order and stop any escalations in violence between the two communities," Mayo said.
He said the violence lasted for one day, and was over by the time troops arrived, but security forces remained in the area to protect the population and prevent recrimination attacks.
A north-south peace deal in 2005 ended over two decades of civil war, which was at times marked by intra-tribal violence among southern rebels.
Mayo also said 11 people were wounded and one girl kidnapped during the violence as marauding members of the Toposa cattle herding tribe attacked the Didinga group.
The southern parliament was trying on Tuesday to decide how to reduce intra-tribal violence, and passed a resolution asking the government to take steps to restore security to the area and provide humanitarian assistance to the affected community.
- Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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