News / Africa

South Sudanese Seeking Safety as Fighting Rages

South Sudanese Seeking Safety as Fighting Ragesi
X
January 16, 2014 2:57 AM
Nearly a month after a political power struggle erupted into ethnic violence, South Sudanese continue to flee the fighting that has divided the country. VOA’s Gabe Joselow has this report from a sprawling camp for tens of thousands who have been displaced.

South Sudanese Seeking Safety as Fighting Rages

Gabe Joselow
A month after a political power struggle erupted into ethnic violence, South Sudanese continue to flee the fighting that has divided the country. 
 
As dawn breaks, hundreds of new arrivals land in the tiny village of Mingkamen on the banks of the White Nile River.
 
They are among more than 400,000 South Sudanese who have been displaced by fighting in the country.
 
In this case, they are running from the rebel-held town of Bor, the scene of fierce battles between the divided military and allied militias.
 
These boats have just arrived from Jonglei state around the area of Bor.  People spent eight hours traveling in the dead of night just to escape the fighting in the area.
 
Now they’re coming here with almost everything they own, including cattle in some cases.  
 
If they have money, they might move on to transition to other places, or they’ll stay here until it’s safe enough to go home.”
 
Among the new arrivals is the Reverend Daniel Garang - a priest with an assault rifle.
 
He has just helped guide about 100 people to safety after spending three weeks in hiding, narrowly escaping rebel attacks.
 
He says he has never fired a shot, and his only prayer is for peace.
 
“Well for me as a priest, to be peaceful is better than to be more violent.  So I wish if there is a cease-fire to stop killing the civilians and the innocent people as I came with them now.  You can see me as military because I’m military minded, but I’m a civilian," said Garang.
 
More than 84,000 people have fled across the river from Bor. The cattle just started arriving this week.
 
A major indication of wealth in South Sudan, the cows could not be left behind.
 
Those who can afford to have brought them over by the boatful, another sign that people are not expecting to go home any time soon.
 
Elijah Macnom, a local official from Duk county near Bor, says the people who have been left behind are suffering.
 
“People will be living in fear, like now, many people are hiding in the bushes, and when they went to the bushes, there’s no food there in the bush. These are the challenges that I have witnessed there," said Macnom.
 
Almost all who have settled here in Mingkamen are Dinka, the tribe of President Salva Kiir.
 
They are victims of ethnic tensions that have been reignited by the president’s fallout with his top rival Riek Machar, a Nuer.
 
Elizabeth Yar Garang sleeps under this tree with her mother.  In the recent violence, she sees echoes of the massacre of Dinka in 1991, that many blamed on Machar when he led another rebel group.
 
“Why does this man Machar kill people?  Old, young, women and children, and now he wants to be a leader. He has done this twice and we cannot forget," she said.
 
While Dinka have been displaced here, Nuer have been targeted with violence and displaced in other parts of the country including tens of thousands in the capital.
 
As cease-fire talks drag on, those uprooted by the conflict remain a long way from home.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid