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South Sudan's government says it will stamp out a recent wave of cattle raids that have left hundreds of people dead by disarming rival ethnic groups.
The local government minister told the BBC the disarmament would be carried out by force, if necessary.He said chiefs and tribal leaders are being brought together in the South Sudan town of Bor in a bid to resolve grazing and access to water disputes.
At least 1,000 people have been killed in the raids this year.
The United Nations' most senior humanitarian official, John Holmes, expressed concern earlier this month at the scale of the clashes.
The problem is that the peace agreement with the North, signed in 2005, has led to a rapid increase in the number of cattle across South Sudan.
'Removed by force'
For many of the tribal groups, cattle represent wealth and status, so having beautiful cows and bulls is of immense importance.
There is also a long tradition of cattle raiding between ethnic groups, a problem which has become much worse, since the country is awash with guns.
Thousands have fled recent tribal confrontations in Jonglei state
Clashes which might have resulted in a few injuries when warriors were armed with spears can now leave hundreds dead.
Speaking on a visit to London, South Sudanese Local Government Minister Dr Barnaba Benjamin said the authorities were now determined to end the attacks.
"We will have voluntary disarmament as well as forced disarmament," he said.
"Those who resist, definitely their arms will have to be removed by force."
The UN mission in Sudan says it has deployed about 120 personnel in the affected counties of Jonglei state, where thousands are taking shelter after fleeing recent tribal confrontations.
Unmis regional co-ordinator for South Sudan, David Gressy, said after a visit to the region the UN staff would help the local authorities stabilise the situation.
About 1,000 people have been killed in clashes between the Murle and Nuer tribes during raids and counter-attacks since January this year.
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