More than 350,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes in three states in Sudan and South Sudan, according to the UN refugee agency.
Two of the states – South Kordofan and Blue Nile – are in Sudan, while the third – Jonglei – is in the world’s newest nation.
In Blue Nile and South Kordofan, 100,000 people each have been forced out of their homes. Jonglei, in South Sudan, remains the worst affected, with inter-tribal violence having driven 150,000 from their homes.
In the six months since the independence of South Sudan, 360,000 people have arrived in the newly formed nation but Guterres said, “there is almost no economy, no infrastructure”, leaving those arriving to the south with little in terms of integration into the young state.Speaking to Al Jazeera on Friday from the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit in Davos, Switzerland, Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), said that the issues facing the three states are ultimately political ones – about borders, oil, and citizenship status after the formation of South Sudan last summer.
“There is never a humanitarian solution for humanitarian problems. The solution is always political,” Guterres said, referring to the situation as a “massive humanitarian emergency”. Read more…
Thousands of youths from a South Sudanese ethnic group which attacked a rival community, reportedly killing at least 150 people, have been repelled by government troops, the UN says.
The UN’s humanitarian co-ordinator in the region, Lise Grande, says 6,000 members of the Lou Nuer ethnic group have left the besieged town of Pibor.
The clashes took place between the Lou Nuer and their rivals, the Murle.
The fighting follows long-running disputes over cattle raids. Read more…
The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) should immediately declare a state of emergency and establish a Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) buffer zone in the conflict areas of Jonglei state, a civil society entity said on Wednesday.
In a statement published ahead of a planned visit by government officials to assess the security situation in the state, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) argues that such measures will help resolve the tense situation between the Luo Nuer and the Murle communities.
Displaced civilians in Jonglei
According to section 187 (1) of South Sudan’s transitional constitution, “The president, may upon the occurrence of an imminent danger, whether it is war, invasion, blockade, natural disaster or epidemics, as may threaten the country, or any part thereof or the safety or economy of the same, declare a state of emergency in the country, or in any part thereof, in accordance with this Constitution and the law.”
On Monday, at least 24 people, mostly civilians, were reportedly killed in a clash involving Lou Nuer and Murle ethnic communities in Pibor County, Jonglei state, authorities said on Tuesday. Read more…
Juba — Fresh fighting erupted in South Sudan on Sunday following a rebel assault on civilian and police bases in Pigi County in the troubled Jonglei state, officials said.
Militiamen loyal to rebel leader and former army renegade General George Athor Deng attacked Atar village from four directions, killing scores of villagers and wounding others, deputy governor Hussein Maar Nyuot said.
“I am informed they attacked from many directions. They killed civilians and the fighting is continuing,” Mr Maar said.
“The militia attacked us at around 5am,” said villager Monybuny William, adding: “They have burnt houses and stolen our cattle. The situation is bad.”
According to eyewitnesses, villagers fled towards Malakal in Upper Nile state to seek safety.
The attack comes barely weeks after the rebels failed to reach an agreement with a government delegation in Nairobi, after which General Athor vowed to instigate more violence.
General Athor took up arms for the bush after losing a race for state governor last year when he ran as an independent candidate, claiming the elections were rigged in favour of the incumbent SPLM’s Kuol Manayng Juuk. Read more…