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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' 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.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs