News / Africa

White House: South Sudan Can Receive US Defense Assistance

The White House has declared the government of South Sudan eligible to receive weapons and defense assistance from the United States.

President Barack Obama issued a memorandum Friday saying that the ability to provide defense materials and services to the government of South Sudan is in the national interest of the United States and could promote peace in East Africa. The determination does not constitute a decision to give defense support to the African state.

The announcement came after an outbreak of violence between two South Sudanese tribes that may have left thousands dead and some 50,000 people needing aid.

The United Nations said it has launched a "massive" humanitarian aid operation in South Sudan's Jonglei state, where tribal clashes occurred. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs told VOA Friday the food distribution already has started, and that U.N. agencies are finalizing emergency plans for water, health care, shelter and sanitation.

The violence broke out in Pibor last week when about 6,000 men from the Lou Nuer tribe attacked areas controlled by the rival Murle tribe.  The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said tens of thousands of people have returned to the town of Pibor now that the fighting has ended.   

A local South Sudanese official said Friday the violence killed more than 3,000 villagers, including more than 2,000 women and children.  U.N. officials have not confirmed those figures but say at least several dozen people have died.

Government forces have taken control of Pibor and the U.N. has vowed to increase its peacekeeping presence in the area.

Meanwhile, U.N. refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres is scheduled to visit South Sudan's capital, Juba, Saturday to discuss the humanitarian situation there.

The U.N. estimates more than 360,000 people have fled to South Sudan from neighboring Sudan in recent months.

Sudan's government is battling rebels in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, which border South Sudan. The rebels are believed to support the south, which split from the north in July.

Guterres is also scheduled to visit Sudan Tuesday to discuss humanitarian needs in that country.

The U.N. has asked Sudan to allow foreign aid groups to enter the war-torn states and reach people in need of assistance.  Khartoum has denied the request.

The world body cites reports suggesting that food shortages and malnutrition rates have reached "alarming" levels in parts of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid