Eight Civilians Killed in UN Camp in South Sudan Amid Violence Escalation

UN mission in the country (INMISS) said in a press release that eight people in a UN camp for internally displaced people were killed over the last 24 hours as a result of renewed clashes in South Sudan.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Eight people in a UN camp for internally displaced people were killed over the last 24 hours as a result of renewed clashes in South Sudan, the UN mission in the country (INMISS) said in a press release Monday.

“In the last 24 hours, 67 people have been injured in or around the protection of civilians sites, eight of which have died,” the press release reads.

An armed ethnic conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, 1.5 years after the nation gained independence from Sudan, when President Salva Kiir accused First Vice President Riek Machar of preparing a military coup. The conflict forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

In August 2015, Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal that envisaged the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity.

Renewed fighting broke out last week and over 300 people have already lost their lives in the clashes, according to media reports.

Source: Sputnik News

Continues…

‘Dire and Deteriorating’: Fighting Threatens Full-Scale War in South Sudan

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A fragile peace in South Sudan appears to be falling apart as battles continue in Juba, the capital of world’s youngest country.

South Sudan appears to again be on the verge of a full-scale war, as fighting in Juba has gone on for five days. Aid workers report that the new violence has claimed the lives of over 300 people, including many civilians, and has damaged hospitals and cut food supplies. Embassies in the country are closing, the Canadian embassy has closed entirely, while the Indian embassy announced plans to evacuate staff. Evacuations are complicated by the closure of the Juba airport.

Despite calls for calm from international powers, fighting in Juba continues, with heavy weaponry damaging at least one hospital by shellfire, as well as striking several United Nations refugee camps.

A list compiled by church authorities documents some 15,000 people in the city sheltering in churches or other religious buildings. Many more have moved to the UN-run refugee camps. Many have fled the city for surrounding rural areas.

“There is random shooting and quite heavy mortar fire. We don’t know who is responsible. The humanitarian situation is dire. It was already very difficult to get food, even for the urban population, and a week of fighting has made it much worse. Around half the population has been forced to leave their homes,” said Florence Mawanda, director of the Tearfund NGO, an aid-worker organization in Juba.

New fighting began after a unit of loyalist forces clashed with the bodyguards of former rebel leader and current vice president Riek Machar. Military violence escalated quickly, with tanks and helicopters dispatched.

Both president Salva Kiir and vice president Riek Machar have publicly called for their troops to cease fire, but widespread fighting continues.

The true nature of the conflict is said to reflect the ethnic division of South Sudan: Kiir’s supporters are largely Dinka, and Machar’s followers mostly Nuer, tribes with a long history of sectarian disagreement, primarily over cattle ranching and water rights.

According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), “Any upsurge in fighting that spreads elsewhere in the country will quickly have grave consequences, especially for the most vulnerable.”

Aid workers say the humanitarian situation in Juba is “dire and deteriorating.” About half of South Sudan’s population of 11 million people are threatened with famine, inflation is at 300%, and the country is effectively bankrupt.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council on Monday to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan, sanction leaders and commanders who are blocking the implementation of a peace deal, and fortify the UN peacekeeping mission.

At least 67 injuries and eight deaths were reported from the UN base on Sunday. Water supplies for the tens of thousands sheltering inside the base has been cut. There have been reports that a clinic was shelled, and possibly destroyed. Two Chinese UN peacekeepers were reported to have been killed at the base on Sunday night.

Source: Sputnik News

Continues…

Beijing Establishes Relations With S Sudan
Following Death of Peacekeepers

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Beijing has made a representation to the South Sudanese ambassador to China.

BEIJING (Sputnik) — Beijing has made a representation to the South Sudanese ambassador to China about the killing of peacekeepers from the country in South Sudan’s capital Juba, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Tuesday.

Fierce clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar occurred in Juba on July 7-8, on the eve of Independence Day. The clashes left more than 270 dead, including two Chinese peacekeepers. Another five peacekeepers are said to have been injured.

“[Chinese] Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming has already met with the South Sudanese ambassador in Beijing and made a representation about the killing of the Chinese peacekeepers,” Lu said at a press conference.

The spokesman also called on the South Sudanese authorities to provide access to medical treatment to the peacekeepers and ensure the security of all Chinese citizens in the country at present. He also expressed hope that the conflicting sides would stick to the ceasefire deal.

An armed ethnic conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, 18 months after the nation gained independence from Sudan, when Kiir accused Machar of preparing a military coup. Over a million people have fled their homes due to the conflict. On Monday, both Kiir and Machar ordered their forces to put down their arms.

Source: Sputnik News

Continues…

Who Gains From the Conflicts Plaguing Oil-Rich South Sudan

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Some Western circles opposed to China’s increasing clout in Africa may be behind the latest escalation of tensions in South Sudan, Russian political analyst Vladimir Yevseyev told Sputnik.

In an interview with Sputnik, Russian political scientist Vladimir Yevseyev did not rule out that the latest violence in South Sudan could have been instigated by those Western circles which are up in arms against Beijing’s growing clout in Africa.

The interview came after at least eight people in a UN camp for internally displaced people in South Sudan were killed as a result of renewed clashes in this northeastern African country.

Yevseyev specifically drew attention to the fact that South Sudan ranks third in Africa in terms of oil reserves, a fact which has repeatedly turned the country into a hotspot for clashing geopolitical interests.

“Some circles interested in reducing China’s influence in Africa on the whole may be behind the latest events in South Sudan. Given that the US and its allies have repeatedly opposed China’s African clout, it is safe to assume that the US intelligence agencies could add to the deterioration of the situation in South Sudan,” he said.

He was echoed by Tatyana Deych of the Moscow-based Institute for African Studies, who said that the current escalation of the conflict in South Sudan may damage China’s oil interests in the country.

“Suffice it to recall the simmering conflict between Sudan and South Sudan after the latter was recognized as an independent state, something that led to a decrease in oil production and a drop in oil supplies abroad. This is why the current conflict will most likely affect South Sudan’s oil production and export supplies,” she said.

Currently, 80 percent of South Sudan’s oil exports are sent to China, with Chinese firms remaining the main shareholders of the two major oil consortiums in South Sudan: Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company and Dar Petroleum Operating Company. The China National Petroleum Corporation holds a 40 percent stake in a major joint venture dealing with South Sudan’s oil reserves.

The first infantry battalion from China to participate in a United Nations peacekeeping mission left for South Sudan in January 2015.

An armed ethnic conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, 1.5 years after the nation gained independence from Sudan, when President Salva Kiir accused First Vice President Riek Machar of preparing a military coup. The conflict has forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

In August 2015, Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal that envisaged the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity.

However, renewed fighting broke out last week and over 300 people have already lost their lives in the clashes, according to media reports.

Source: Sputnik News


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