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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Arkansas, North Carolina have approved similar laws that gay-marriage opponents say help maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More