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

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

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