News / Africa

UN: Women, Children Targeted in South Sudan Attack

Bor, South Sudan
Bor, South Sudan
Gabe Joselow
A United Nations official in South Sudan says at least 40 people were killed in an attack on civilians sheltering at a U.N. base in Jonglei state. The government has blamed U.N. peacekeepers for the violence.

The U.N. peacekeeping force, known as UNMISS, says an armed mob forced its way into the compound in Bor Thursday and opened fire at civilians taking refuge inside.

UNMISS says peacekeepers returned fire, repelling the attackers.

The head of office for the U.N. Humanitarian agency in South Sudan, Vincent Lelei, told VOA the mob was apparently demonstrating against the U.N. at the gates of the compound, before it turned violent.

Lelei said demonstrators used “powerful military equipment” to force their way in.

“Shooting started directly into unarmed civilians, mainly women and children who had taken shelter in there,” he said.

At a news conference Friday, South Sudan's information minister Michael Makuei Lueth claimed it was the U.N. who fired at the demonstrators first.

“Before they could arrive, the UNMISS force shot at them and as a result it provoked a situation that resulted in that unfortunate incident,” he said.
FILE - Civilians who fled recent fighting stack their belongings up outside the gate of the United Nations Mission compound in South Sudan (UNMISS), hoping to benefit from their protection, Unity State, South Sudan, Jan 12, 2014.FILE - Civilians who fled recent fighting stack their belongings up outside the gate of the United Nations Mission compound in South Sudan (UNMISS), hoping to benefit from their protection, Unity State, South Sudan, Jan 12, 2014.
x
FILE - Civilians who fled recent fighting stack their belongings up outside the gate of the United Nations Mission compound in South Sudan (UNMISS), hoping to benefit from their protection, Unity State, South Sudan, Jan 12, 2014.
FILE - Civilians who fled recent fighting stack their belongings up outside the gate of the United Nations Mission compound in South Sudan (UNMISS), hoping to benefit from their protection, Unity State, South Sudan, Jan 12, 2014.
Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have sought shelter at U.N. bases across the country since violence broke out in December, following a political rift between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.

In the latest fighting, opposition forces this week took over the town of Bentiu, capital of oil-producing Unity State. The government says the military soon will retake control.

Lelei says more than 6,000 civilians have fled to a U.N. base in Bentiu in recent days, bringing the total number of people taking shelter at the base up to 14,000.

“The fear factor is driving people out of their homes into very very difficult sheltering conditions in the U.N. base," he said.

The U.S. State Department Thursday issued a statement condemning the recent violence, and has called on all sides involved in the conflict to adhere to a cessation of hostilities agreement signed in January. That agreement has been repeatedly violated, while peace talks in the Ethiopian capital have stalled.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Patrick
April 20, 2014 8:03 AM
Whilst the UN speaks out on atrocities, where were they on Gukhurahundi in Zimbabwe? where 20,000 people died. So much insincerity and lack of empathy. Inkosi sikelele Zimbabwe.


by: Anonymous
April 19, 2014 2:41 AM
UN should not always terrorise the citizens of S.Sudan while it function is to keep peace and bring un unite party on Co-operation. It was backing Salva Kiir's fmr Deputy president sources giving arms to Riak Machar's forces twice.


by: Ismail from: Nairobi
April 18, 2014 4:57 PM
If the US warning to South Sudan with the purpose of making them reform, with all due respect, i think it will not work; simply because culturally South Sudanese don't take seriousily those that first make warnings. However, we culturally respect those that act first and then leave others pick the warning themselves from the action taken.

The UN compound attack in Jongly, Bor is on 4-17-2014 is a very good example, where the UN protection force was reported to have fired warning shots to scare away armed South Sudanese.! The result of the said warning shots is so far 60 confirmed dead innocent lives unffortunatly. This majorly due to lack of CULTURAL AWARENESS by UN protection force.

I fear the same to happen to the US threat of sanctions.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid