Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers sit on the ground at a containment site outside of the capital, Juba, on April 14, 2016. © AFP
At least 140 people, including women and children, have reportedly been killed after gunmen attacked an area near Ethiopia
’s border with South Sudan.
According to a Saturday statement from the Ethiopian Government Communication Affairs Office, the attack took place on Friday when gunmen from South Sudan raided the Jakaya area, in Ethiopia’s Gambella region.
“140 civilians died in the attack carried out by bandits that crossed from South Sudan,” the statement said.
The statement added that Ethiopian troops had crossed the border to pursue the attackers, saying “60 of the assailants have been killed so far.”
The Ethiopian region hosts thousands of South Sudanese refugees who fled conflict in the world’s youngest nation. It is also home to Ethiopian and South Sudanese armed groups that attack government installations and soldiers.
The statement also said that the armed men had no relation with South Sudanese government troops or rebel forces that fought the government in the capital, Juba, in a civil war that ended with a peace deal signed last year.
South Sudanese officials were not immediately available for any comment.
South Sudan plunged into chaos in December 2013, when fighting erupted outside Juba, between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by rebel leader Riek Machar.
The fighting has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over two million others.
The warring sides reached an internationally-mediated peace deal in August 2015 and agreed to share out ministerial positions in January.