30,000 illegal weapons recovered by South Sudan army.

The South Sudan army (SPLA) has recovered about 30,000 unauthorized…

The South Sudan army (SPLA) has recovered about 30,000 unauthorized weapons in the semi-autonomous region but tens of thousands more are still in the hands of civilians, the SPLA said on Friday.

Many of the weapons were left over from Sudan’s two-decade long civil war, which ended with a peace accord in 2005.

Analysts say the abundance of guns could spur violence around a referendum on independence next January.

“Of the 30,000 about half were voluntarily surrendered from the population, others were seized after tribal conflicts and cattle raids,” SPLA spokesman Malaak Ayuen Ajok said.

“Tens of thousands of weapons are still at large. There are also many types of machineguns.”

Conflicts among tribes in the south, often fought over cattle and ethnic rivalries, have intensified with the availability of weapons since the brokered peace.

Source: Jeremy Clarke for Reuters.

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