News / Africa

Life Trickles Back in South Sudan's Bor

Traders are again selling goods at a market in Bor, June 18, 2014, as the town trickles back to life. Bor was one of the towns hardest hit by fighting in South Sudan.
Traders are again selling goods at a market in Bor, June 18, 2014, as the town trickles back to life. Bor was one of the towns hardest hit by fighting in South Sudan.
Nearly 100,000 people who fled Bor at the height of the fighting in South Sudan have returned in recent weeks, trying to rebuild lives in a city that is only a shadow of what it used to be.

“People are returning to their normal ways of living," Abraham Leek Mach, who returned to Bor two months ago, told South Sudan in Focus.

"Some people are just preparing their shops in Marol market ... some are constructing their houses in the town, trying to rebuild what they have lost,” he said.

Kon John Manyang, a student at Bor’s Malek Secondary School, was separated from his parents when the fighting that broke out in Juba in mid-December spread to other parts of the country, including the capital of Jonglei state.

Students like Manyang "don’t have parents to provide us with food," he said, and hoping "the government will let us be in school by providing us food and dormitories ... beds.” 

Bor changed hands between pro- and anti-goverment forces several times during the fighting in South Sudan.

Tens of thousands of people caught in the midst of the clashes fled Bor and headed to Ethiopia or across the White Nile River into Lakes state.
 
Children cautiously disembark from a boat that has carried them across the Nile to a village in Awerial, which has received tens of thousands of people who fled fighting in Bor, Jonglei state.
Children cautiously disembark from a boat that has carried them across the Nile to a village in Awerial, which has received tens of thousands of people who fled fighting in Bor, Jonglei state.
Others sought shelter at the U.N. base in the town, which was attacked in April by an armed mob. Dozens of internally displaced persons sheltering inside the base were killed in the attack, which U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon denounced as a war crime.

Still others were killed in their homes, in churches and in hospitals.

A U.N. official who visited Bor in January said that the town had been levelled in the fighting. The warring sides have swapped blame for destroying Bor.
Civilians fleeing violence seek refuge at the UNMISS compound in Bor, capital of Jonglei state, in South Sudan on Dec. 18, 2013.
Civilians fleeing violence seek refuge at the UNMISS compound in Bor, capital of Jonglei state, in South Sudan on Dec. 18, 2013.


But for the last few months, the town's mayor, Nhial Majak Nhial, says Bor has been peaceful and is undergoing something of a rebirth.

“Bor town has enjoyed stability for the last times three to four months now," Nhial said.

"We have received a huge influx of internally displaced people from Awerial county, Lakes state and other areas. This is a good sign that peace and stability are returning to the town of Bor," he said.

Aid agencies are supporting the returnees, many of whose homes were destroyed in the fighting in Bor, and the town is providing temporary accommodation to some returning residents while they rebuild their homes, Nhial said.
 
John Garang Ayii lost his collection of nearly 300 books when his house was burnt to the ground during the fighting. But, like other residents, he has come back and urged others to do the same.
 
“I am encouraging my fellow citizens of Bor County to come back from wherever they are -- whether in Guol-Yaar or in Uganda or in Kenya -- to come back because there is no security threat as per now," he said.

Authorities say that with the return to the town of around 98,000 people who fled during the fighting, the population of Bor has swelled to around 140,000 people. But that is still only about half the town's pre-conflict population, they say.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
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 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 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 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.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs