News / Africa

Army Deserters Blamed as Fighting Rocks South Sudan State

Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan, has largely escaped the violence that has rocked other parts of the country since December
Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan, has largely escaped the violence that has rocked other parts of the country since December

At least 29 people have been killed in clashes between pro- and anti-government forces in Northern Bahr el Ghazal in South Sudan, shattering the fragile peace in a state that has been largely unaffected by seven months of fighting in the country, officials said Wednesday.

Aweil West County Commissioner Garang Kuach Ariath said all of the dead were on the opposition side. Two were officers and the rest were soldiers, he said.

Four government soldiers were wounded in the fighting, which started Monday and lasted nearly 24 hours, Ariath said.

Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk blamed soldiers who deserted two weeks ago from the SPLA’s Fifth Division in neighboring Western Bahr al Ghazal state for the unrest.

“They have just been roaming around, trying to go to Sudan from the northwestern part of South Sudan," he said.

"They attacked the population with the intention of getting food," he said.

Manyang and army spokesman Philip Aguer said government forces are pursuing the rebels as they head toward Sudan.

Santino Mayuat Ngong who represents Aweil Centre County in the state legislature, said the deserters also looted a medical clinic in the area last week, killing one person and taking two others hostage.

"They looted 5,000 South Sudanese Pounds, captured two and killed one person," he said.

SPLM-in-Opposition military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said he has not received any reports of fighting in Northern Bahr al Ghazal state, and expressed doubt that opposition forces were responsible for looting the clinic or for the alleged abductions.

"Looting and abducting people is not part of our culture," he said.

Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.

"If there were any abductions, then this must be Arab nomads, the Misseriya and the rest who normally come to Northern Aweil. We do not have this culture of abducting people.  Abducting them and taking them where?" he said.

Looting has been widely documented during the seven-month conflict, particularly in states that have been hard hit by the conflict.

Abductions are not unheard of either, and have in the past been blamed on now disbanded rebel groups, the Lord's Resistance Army, and cattle raiders.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs