Tag Archives: United Nations Mission in South Sudan

UN base in South Sudan attacked by ‘peaceful’ mob, dozens dead

Displaced people walk past a U.N. armoured vehicle inside the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camp in Malakal, Upper Nile State, March 3, 2014.

Gunmen posing as peaceful protesters forced their way inside the base of the UN mission in Bor, where some 5,000 civilians are seeking protection in the four-month-long conflict, and opened fire, reportedly killing dozens.

At least 48 people were killed and 60 wounded in a brazen attack on the fortified UN compound in northern Jonglei state, where Indian and South Korean UN peacekeepers are stationed, an anonymous UN source told Reuters.

Toby Lanzer, the UN’s top aid official in South Sudan, told the BBC there was a “significant loss of life,” after a mob had approached the UN compound base on Thursday morning under the pretense of wanting to present a petition.

More than 1 million people have fled their homes since violence broke out in mid-December between federal troops loyal to President Salva Kiir against rebellious troops who have sided with Riek Machar, the former vice-president, in 2013.

Tens of thousands of civilians are seeking UN protection from the conflict.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the attack on innocent civilians and UN personnel marks “serious escalation.”

According to Dujarric, the attack was planned in advance.

“The assailants – a mob of armed civilians – came to the base under the guise of peaceful demonstrators intending to present a petition to UNMISS [the UN peacekeeping mission].”

“The armed mob forced entry on to the site and opened fire on the internally displaced persons sheltering inside the base,” he said. “At the time of the attack there were some 5,000 displaced civilians … inside the base.”

The injured were being treated at the UN compound’s clinic.

The number of displaced civilians in the UNMISS compound has risen to 12,000, according to the UN’s website, adding that thousands of displaced persons assembled near the Bentiu Hospital and the UN World Food Program (WFP) compound.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who just one day before the attack said that up to 1 million people face potential famine as a result of the conflict, condemned the attack, which he said “constitutes a war crime.”

Despite South Sudan gaining its independence from Sudan in 2011, pockets of violence continues to disrupt parts of the landlocked country in northeastern Africa.

At the same time, the instability has put a dent in oil production, a major source of the government’s funds.

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Obama may ‘take further action’ to protect Americans in South Sudan – World News

After the safe relocation of Americans from Bor, South Sudan, to the nation’s capital of Juba on Sunday, President Barack Obama said he may “take further action” to keep Americans safe in the midst of escalating violence and fears of possible civil war in the newly formed African country.

Three hundred and eighty U.S. officials and citizens have already been transported out of South Sudan in addition to 300 residents of other countries, Jen Psaki, the U.S. State Department‘s spokesperson, said in a statement.

Obama said in a letter that 46 U.S. military personnel were sent to Bor on Saturday in the evacuation effort.

“As I monitor the situation in South Sudan, I may take further action to support the security of U.S. citizens, personnel, and property, including our Embassy, in South Sudan,” Obama said.

“The U.S. government is doing everything possible to ensure the safety and security of United States citizens in South Sudan. … For their safety and security, we will not outline specific evacuation plans,” the statement said.

On Saturday, four U.S. service members were wounded when unidentified forces attacked three U.S. aircraft attempting to evacuate Americans from Bor. The involved aircraft and personnel aborted the mission and left the country, Obama said.

While the United Nations sends more peacekeeping soldiers into the violence-stricken country, all civilian officials who are involved with the U.N. Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) have been relocated to Jor, according to the U.N.

“We are not abandoning South Sudan. We are here to stay, and will carry on in our collective resolve to work with and for the people of South Sudan,” Special Representative for South Sudan and head of UNMISS Hilde Johnson said in a statement.

The decision came after a UNMISS camp was attacked by about 2,000 armed militants, leaving two Indian peacekeepers and “a number” of South Sudanese civilians dead, according to the U.N.

Violent clashes have escalated in the world’s newest country throughout the week, following what South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir’s government said was a coup attempted by rebels fighting for the former vice president who was dismissed in July.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for the violence to stop immediately and for the disparate parties to “resolve their personal differences through dialogue immediately.”

Related:

Fighting spreads in South Sudan as fears grow of civil war

Obama may ‘take further action’ to protect Americans in South Sudan – World News.