State Briefing: Warrap State

  • Capital: KuajokWarrap State
  • Approximate Population: 972,928.
  • Internally Diplaced People (IDP) sheltering in the state: 8,800

Warrap State is located in the north of South Sudan, in the Greater Bahr el-Ghazal region. Warrap borders Abyei, a contested area between Sudan and South Sudan. The majority of Warrap’s inhabitants are Dinka, but Luo, Bongo and other smaller ethnic groups also live there.

The political elite of Warrap overwhelmingly support President Salva Kiir and his government, and there have been few, if any, defections from the SPLA within this state. In January, state politicians and civil society leaders issued a letter of support for Salva Kiir’s government and condemned the actions of Riek Machar’s faction. More recently Warrap political leaders spoke in favour of the government position in the debate over federalism in South Sudan. The only disorder in the ranks was caused by the information minister who was accused of having links to the opposition. She resigned in February.

Warrap has not been spared from violence, however. Since the signing of peace in 2005, cattle raiding and local revenge feuds have claimed hundreds of lives, especially along the Unity-Warrap state border. During the current conflict, the brutality of these raids seems to have increased. In January more than forty people were killed in two raids in the Tonj area. In one incident in March, seven people were killed and 300 cattle stolen. In April, fighting on the Unity-Warrap border left more than ten people dead, and in Tuic County sixteen people were reportedly killed, including fourteen women. The state capital, Kuajok, has not been a target of raids, but the city has experienced protests and heavy gunfire over salary disputes.

The number of registered Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Warrap is 8,800, many of which are hailing from Unity State. About 4,000 of the IDPs are located in Tuic County, one of the areas suffering from frequent raids. This is a smaller number than in the states hardest hit by the civil war violence, but the IDPs still put pressure on scarce resources.  Already when the first IDPs arrived, state officials warned about increasing malnutrition  and the overall condition in the Turalei camp continues to be difficult. In June hospitals lacked medicines and there is a severe food shortage among IDPs as well as the host population.

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