News / Africa

Survivors Tell of Nightmare of Violence in South Sudan Town

  • South Sudanese refugees line up for food at the Dzaipi transit camp in Adjumani, Uganda, around an hour's drive from the South Sudanese border town of Nimule.
  • A South Sudanese government soldier stands with others near their vehicles, after government forces retook Bentiu, capital of Unity State, from opposition fighters on Jan. 10.
  • A member of a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) medical team stands near a woman holding her baby on Jan. 10, 2014 at a UN compound in Juba, where thousands have sought refuge from the fighting in South Sudan. MSF medical teams are carrying out 300-500 consul
  • People unload the few belongings they fled with from Bor, capital of Jonglei state, after arriving in Minkammen, on the banks of the Nile..
  • A mother sits with her infant in a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Minkammen, 25 kilometers (16 miles) south of Bor, Jan. 10, 2014.
  • A picture shows an aerial view of a camp of internally displaced people in Minkammen, 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of Bor, Jan. 10, 2014.
  • A Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) doctor treats a girl who suffered an electric shock, at the MSF clinic set up at the camp for displaced people in the grounds of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, South Sudan, on January 12,
  • South Sudanese refugees wait in line to get food at Dzaipi transit camp in northern Uganda. (UNHCR/F. Noy)

Fleeing Violence in South Sudan

Almash Desai has just lived through a nightmare.

After working for four years in a tea shop in the South Sudanese town of Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, the Ethiopian national fled for her life several days ago when armed men came to her home.

"They came at night and we were sleeping," she told VOA News in Wau, the capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal state, where she arrived Friday morning after a journey of hundreds of kilometers from Malakal.

"I was wearing trousers and they told me to remove them, and I did. I was left with my underwear only. Two of us managed to escape. We ran naked like this and we ran behind our shop. They were searching everywhere. They brought a truck and took everything. Our friends were raped by seven or eight people but I managed to escape. They did not get me," she said.

Desai knows she is lucky to have escaped with her life. She said she heard of many  women and girls in Bentiu who have been raped and killed. Some of them were her friends.
Our friends were raped by seven or eight people but I managed to escape. They did not get me.

Bentiu has been the scene of fierce battles between government and opposition forces since South Sudan plunged into violence on Dec. 15.

The provincial capital was seized by anti-government forces in late December but was recaptured early this month by government troops.

The United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, who visited Bentiu this week as part of a trip to South Sudan to investigate reports of rights abuses by both sides in the conflict, told reporters in Juba on Friday that Bentiu has been wiped off the map.

The town "simply did not even exist any more," said Šimonović.

"It was completely burnt down.
There were just a couple of buildings including a hospital that were still standing," he said of what was once the capital of South Sudan's second largest oil-producing state.

Ali Ismael Osmaan spent three weeks at U.N. Mission in South Sudan's (UNMISS) compound in Bentiu after the shop he ran there for six years was broken into and looted.  In the end, the Sudanese national also fled to Wau, which has so far been unaffected by the fighting in South Sudan.

Bentiu simply did not exist any more. It was completely burnt down.
"All the shops are destroyed and all the goods have been looted," Ali said, blaming both soldiers and civilians for the widespread looting.

"We have some brothers and sisters who have been killed, and others who had money and mobile phones taken from them. Even those who managed to get to U.N. compounds, some were killed and some were threatened. We really lost everything," he said.

Huda Fadul, a mother of five children from northern Darfur in Sudan, arrived in Wau on Friday morning.

"We don’t have anything left. We just came with the clothes on our backs. We were in Rubkona county," in Unity state, she said.

"I have seen many people killed... We thank God we have arrived in Wau safely," she said, adding that she wants to make her way back to Darfur to be with her family.


Half a million displaced by fighting


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Friday nearly half a million people are estimated to have been displaced by the fighting in South Sudan. More than 118,000 have left Unity state and 113,500 have fled Jonglei state, where government and opposition forces are battling for control of the capital, Bor.

Aid organizations have only reached 200,000 of the internally displaced people so far, OCHA said.

Around 1,000 people are leaving South Sudan every day to seek refuge in neighboring countries, the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said Friday, projecting that refugee numbers will top 100,000 by the end of January if the fighting does not stop and the exodus continues.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: loki David from: Uganda
January 19, 2014 11:15 PM
The crisis of south Sudan is getting beyond our nose the south Sudanese citizens. We are not enjoying our peace that God granted us two years ago. We live in fear,no freedom of speech,no freedom of movement. Please God we need you to our rescue.


by: Ghazi Malik from: London
January 18, 2014 11:20 AM
This pogrom has been in the making since the African Bureau of the US State Dept. planned snd executed this cession of the southern region of the Republic of Sudan against the wish of all of its poeple including southern tribed other than the murderous Dinka and Morli tribes military militia nurtured by Israel politicians such as Menachem Begin, Shamir and Sharon.


by: Tash from: Ambara
January 18, 2014 10:03 AM
I think these all crimes victim express their views are committed by Rebel & their fugitive leader Riak. Looks, the all these days those places are in Rebel control, there no any access of media even victim are clear!
"God help SS with people"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid