News / Africa

UNMISS: South Sudan Unrest Displaces 181,000

A general view of a camp for displaced people set up in a United Nations compound in Bor, South Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
A general view of a camp for displaced people set up in a United Nations compound in Bor, South Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
Around 181,000 civilians have been forced from their homes by 15 days of fighting in South Sudan, a spokesman for the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said Monday.

Just over a third of the displaced have sought refuge at 13 U.N. peacekeeping facilities around South Sudan, UNMISS Acting Spokesman Joseph Contreras told VOA News by telephone from Juba.

"The biggest numbers are concentrated in the national capital, in Juba -- around 25,000 in total -- and an estimated 22,000 in the Upper Nile state capital of Malakal, where heavy fighting reignited" on Sunday, Contreras said.



The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has launched immunization campaigns for polio and measles at the U.N. facilities where civilians have sought refuge, and food is being distributed at at least one camp, Contreras said.

Civilians Flee Bor


In Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, the number of displaced persons sheltering with the U.N. mission has gone down from a high of around 17,000 last week to 7,000-8,000 on Monday, Contreras said.

Reuters news agency reported that thousands of people have fled Bor after the government warned that groups of youths spotted by a U.N. reconnaissance team at the weekend planned to attack the town, which was recaptured last week by government forces from rebel fighters allied with former Vice President Riek Machar.

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said in a statement Monday that more than 70,000 people, mostly women and children, have arrived in Awerial, in Lakes state, after fleeing violence in Bor. The two towns are separated by 50 kilometers and the Nile River.

"With thousands more people arriving each day, living conditions are verging on the catastrophic," MSF said, calling for more medical and humanitarian assistance for South Sudan.

South Sudan's government claims the youths that the U.N. reconnaissance mission says it spotted around 50 kilometers northeast of Bor are members of the so-called "White Army" -- fighters from Machar's Nuer ethnic group who coat their skin with ash to make it appear white.

Contreras said it was impossible to tell if the youths were moving toward Bor or were "in a stationary holding pattern" near the town.

Currently, forces loyal to President Salva Kiir continue to control Bor, he said.

Violence broke out in the South Sudanese capital on Dec. 15, in what Kiir said was an attempted coup orchestrated by fMachar, and quickly spread around the country.

Kiir has agreed to a ceasefire deal brokered by regional African mediators, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said Monday that East African nations have warned Machar to comply with the ceasefire or face action by regional nations.

The United Nations has estimated that at least 1,000 people have died in the violence, which many observers say has pitted members of Kiir's majority  Dinka tribe against his rival Machar's Nuer ethnic group. But many fear that the estimated death toll is a conservative estimate and that far more civilians have died in the violence.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Chuol Both from: Ethiopia
December 30, 2013 4:02 PM
Museveni of Uganda is actually creating more trouble in that country, South Sudan by involving in the war on the side of one ethnic Dinka against another ethnic Nuer. How can such a mediation be trusted and accepted?

If he believes in the use of force against Machar because they think they are going to be powerful force once they join, this will only create much more bloody situations throughout that country and beyond than expected. Machar's people and others alliied to them like Murle, will sacrify their lives for the cause of defending their territories from Dinka and those foreign forces. That will not help at all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid