News / Africa

UN Says Base in Bor Surrounded by Thousands of Militants

Civilians fleeing violence seek refuge at the UNMISS compound in Bor, capital of Jonglei state, in South Sudan.
Civilians fleeing violence seek refuge at the UNMISS compound in Bor, capital of Jonglei state, in South Sudan.
VOA News
The United Nations Security Council president said Friday that thousands of armed men have surrounded a U.N. base in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state in South Sudan, where some 14,000 civilians have taken shelter.

The tense incident came a day after two U.N. peacekeepers and 11 South Sudanese civilians were killed when around 2,000 youths from the Nuer ethnic group surrounded a U.N. base in Akobo, in eastern Jonglei state, and opened fire.

The civilians who died in that attack were part of a group of 32 ethnic Dinka who had sought shelter at the Akobo base as violence that began in Juba on Sunday spread outside the capital.

President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, has blamed the violence on a failed coup, which he said was organized by former vice president Riek Machar, a member of the Nuer ethnic group.

Officials have been trying to quell rising ethnic tensions, and Machar has denied that he had anything to do with the unrest, which has claimed at least 500 lives in the capital alone. 

Speaking to reporters after an emergency session of the Security Council, Gerard Araud, France's permanent representative to the United Nations and the president of the Security Council, urged the parties to the conflict to stop fighting and go to the negotiating table before the crisis spirals out of control.

Residents of Juba arrive at the UN compound on December 20, 2013 where they sought shelter. African diplomats made a push for peace in South Sudan on Friday as bitter fighting spread across the world's youngest nation.Residents of Juba arrive at the UN compound on December 20, 2013 where they sought shelter. African diplomats made a push for peace in South Sudan on Friday as bitter fighting spread across the world's youngest nation.
x
Residents of Juba arrive at the UN compound on December 20, 2013 where they sought shelter. African diplomats made a push for peace in South Sudan on Friday as bitter fighting spread across the world's youngest nation.
Residents of Juba arrive at the UN compound on December 20, 2013 where they sought shelter. African diplomats made a push for peace in South Sudan on Friday as bitter fighting spread across the world's youngest nation.
​In an audio statement released Friday, addressed directly to the South Sudanese people,  President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned that "continued fighting -- and the specter of ethnic violence -- could tear apart the nation you so painstakingly knit together."

"We know all too well what horrors can occur when irresponsible provocateurs pit tribe against tribe and brother against brother," she said, urging "everyone to step back from conflict and instead address your differences through peaceful dialogue."

UN Sheltering 35,000 


The United Nations said some 35,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have sought refuge at U.N. compounds  in Juba, Bor and Bentiu, the capital of oil-rich Unity state, since the start of the violence.

“South Sudan will face a large displacement and protection crisis if the situation is not managed with restraint or if political dialogue does not take place,” the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs, Chaloka Beyani, warned.

The United States has deployed 45 Marines to Juba to provide additional security at the embassy.

VOA White House correspondent Dan Robinson said the deployment was "standard procedure in these types of situations in terms of securing Americans in these areas."

The troops will remain in South Sudan until the security situation has improved, he said.

Bor residents said an unknown number of people were killed in fighting on Thursday.

The bodies of the dead were still lying in the streets because there was no one there to dispose of them after Red Cross officials "had to run for their lives" in the midst of the fighting, government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth said.

Residents said shops and houses in Bor were looted and destroyed and thousands of people fled into the bush or to the U.N. compound, fearing for their lives.

In Unity state, four people including two high-ranking SPLA officers were killed when armed men attacked the SPLA barracks there on Thursday, officials said.

SPLA Division Commander James Koang Chuol said fighting at the barracks lasted for three hours and sparked panic in the nearby towns of Bentiu and Rubknotna, but the army was able to retain control in the state.

In Juba, a delegation of ministers from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held talks with President Salva Kiir, aimed at ending the violence.

  • Members of the South Sudan rebel delegation attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • Taban Deng Gai, left, head of the rebel delegation and South Sudan's leader of the government delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of South Sudan's peace negotiations, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • Unidentified members of the delegation from the South Sudan government and western observers meet at the Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
  • A displaced mother and her baby, one of the few to have a mosquito net, wake up at a refugee camp, Awerial, South Sudan, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • A young displaced girl carries a bucket of water back to her makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound. The compound has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Displaced people gather inside a mosquito net tent as they flee from the fighting between the South Sudanese army and rebels in Bor town, in Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013.
  • A displaced woman hangs up laundry on the plastic sheeting wall of a latrine at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Yared, 2, is held by his mother, Madhn, who fled from the town of Bor a few days ago. She receives medicine for her child at a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical tent, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A young displaced boy rests on the wheel arch of a water truck while others fill containers from it, at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Africa, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A family makes tea outside their makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound, Juba, South Sudan, Dec. 31, 2013.
  • A general view of a camp for displaced people set up in a United Nations compound in Bor, South Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
  • South Sudan army soldiers hold their weapons as they ride on a truck in Bor, Dec. 25, 2013.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is leading the IGAD delegation, called the meeting with Kiir "productive" and said more talks are planned, although he did not say when they might be held.
 
Somali Foreign minister Fowzia Yusuf Adam, who is part the IGAD team, told VOA News that the delegation plans to meet with everyone involved in the conflict, including Machar.

The IGAD ministers are “very hopeful that both sides will put aside their differences and sit at the table to discuss their issues,” she said.  

Makuei said the government is committed to ending the violence.

“We have given the green light to this team to continue with their efforts in order to bring peace to South Sudan. However, the most important is to see how best we can stop all these atrocities that are being committed, especially in Jonglei state," the government spokesman said.

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: victoria kalule from: kampala
December 23, 2013 1:59 PM
Will the un help stuck ugandans home?

by: samson kirwa from: Qatar
December 21, 2013 11:22 PM
We pray for you people of s.s.Please negotiet

by: Yaya Saatinah from: Gambia
December 21, 2013 6:36 PM
Both parties to the conflict should come to the negotiating table immediately to put an end to these atrocities being meted out to the people of South Sudan. The people of South Sudan have been victims of violence and bad leadership for many years and it is time that they are given a break to enjoy the fruits being independent and free in the real sense of these words.

We urge the AU and the UNSC to take a more proactive approach to putting an early end to this nightmare before it evolves into a large scale ethnic war.

To the leaders of South Sudan we urge you to settle your differences not through war/civil strife but through dialogue, the only sure path to realizing the hopes and aspirations of your people following your hard-fought and well-earned Independence.

by: Anonymous
December 21, 2013 3:13 PM
Machar should be arrested right away. He is a menace to the nation. With such power hungry maniacs like Machar there is little chance for peace.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs