News / Africa

Armed Youths Attack UN Compound in South Sudan

FILE - Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
FILE - Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
Gabe Joselow
— Officials in South Sudan say armed youths attacked people taking refuge in a United Nations compound in the capital of Jonglei state. Fighting in the nation threatens the most vulnerable populations.

A spokesman for South Sudan's opposition forces, James Gatdet Dak, says the youths overran the U.N. compound in Bor on Thursday and began indiscriminately shooting at civilians inside.

“This is very unfortunate, and these are mainly women and children," he said. "Innocent women and children. We condemn in the strongest terms possible this barbaric attack and massacre of unarmed innocent civilians.”

The number of those killed or wounded is unclear.

On Twitter, U.N. Humanitarian chief for South Sudan Toby Lanzer says he is “outraged by the attack.”

Tens of thousands of civilians have been sheltering at U.N. bases across the country since fighting broke out in December following a rift between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar.

The government's military spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, says he heard reports of Thursday's attack but did not know any details, calling it a “very unfortunate and unacceptable incident” that needs to be investigated.

Aguer also says government forces - known as the SPLA - are moving toward the key oil town of Bentiu, which rebels seized on Tuesday.

“Forces of the SPLA are encroaching into Bentiu town and any time the rebels will be out of the town,” he said.

Aguer accused Sudanese militia, including the Khartoum-backed Janjaweed, of supporting the rebels who took Bentiu, which is close to the border with Sudan.

Bentiu is the capital of the Unity State, a major oil-producing region, although production has been stopped there for several months.

Anti-government forces have threatened to take control of the remaining oil fields in the country, and have ordered companies to stop production and evacuate staff.

The U.N. says more than 800,000 people have been internally displaced by violence in South Sudan, and warns that the upcoming rainy season will put more people at risk of food insecurity.

On Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said without immediate intervention up to a million people could face famine in a matter of months.

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Losike Albert Koteen from: Koteen
April 17, 2014 2:30 PM
This is unfortunate incident. Why to revenge on civilians. I think the government is behind the attack. They will pay the price for that. I think the government will never halt terrorizing its own citizens and harrasing UN peace keepers.

In Response

by: Mariano Lessard from: Australia
April 17, 2014 5:12 PM
Losike: How can you unibformesly conclude that government is behind this barbaric attack. There is not enough information to conclude that government was behind the attack. They have been in the camp for close to four months now. Rarely did we hear of their attacks. Perhaps abs certainly, the anger was vented on them for their mischievous impulses

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid