News / Africa

Displaced Pour into South Sudan UN Base Amid New Violence

An ostrich runs through empty streets and past destroyed buildings, after government forces on Friday retook from rebel forces the provincial capital of Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan, Jan. 12, 2014.
An ostrich runs through empty streets and past destroyed buildings, after government forces on Friday retook from rebel forces the provincial capital of Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan, Jan. 12, 2014.
The number of displaced people seeking refuge at the United Nations Mission compound in the South Sudanese town of Bentiu nearly doubled Thursday as local residents poured into the base after new violence rattled the country.

Joe Contreras, the acting spokesperson for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said there were around 12,000 people sheltering at the base in Bentiu Thursday, compared to around 7,000 last week.

The number of people seeking refuge at the U.N. base spiked after fighting broke out between government and opposition forces for control of the town.

Anti-government forces said on Monday that they have taken control of Bentiu, which is the capital of South Sudan's second biggest oil-producing state, Unity.


U.N. ‘blue helmets’ who resumed patrols in Bentiu on Wednesday "spotted between 35 and 40 dead bodies along the roadside as they were traveling," Contreras said.

"Most of those corpses they saw were dressed in military uniform. There are some corpses that were dressed in civilian clothes," he said.

The United Nations said in a separate statement, released at U.N. headquarters in New York,  that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) headquarters in Bentiu was empty, and shops in the town have been looted.
 

Contreras said the U.N. troops who patrolled Bentiu saw "thousands of internally displaced civilians" at other locations in the town, in particular at the local hospital and at the UN World Food Program compound.

Army spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, said government forces are planning a counterattack on Bentiu. 

“The SPLA is coming back, after they withdraw temporarily. Forces of the SPLA are encroaching into Bentiu and anytime, the rebels, they are out of the town,” he said.

Fighting in Upper Nile


Contreras said UNMISS has also had reports of fighting in Wadakona near Renk in Upper Nile state.

Renk is the northernmost town in South Sudan and an important farming and trading crossroads. On the eastern banks of the White Nile River, Renk is also near the oil fields of Upper Nile state, including the largest oil block in the country, Palouge.

Contreras said, however, that fighting has not reached Renk. Upper Nile state information minister Philip Jiben Ogai agreed that the strategic town was peaceful.

But James Gatdet Dak, spokesman for opposition leader Riek Machar, disputed Ogai’s claim, saying fighting was raging in parts of Upper Nile and rebel forces were on the verge of capturing Renk.

“Our forces yesterday repulsed attacks from government troops who attempted to take over the defensive positions of our forces from the western side of the river," he said.

"We responded by shelling the government forces and their positions in Renk town and the shelling has continued today and our forces may take over the town soon,” Gatdet said, adding that the opposition's strategy is to eventually take control of the country's oil resources, the main source of revenue for the government.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs