Violence Lurks Again In South Sudan
At least 58 people were killed and dozens injured in a deadly attack at the U.N. base in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state in South Sudan.
According to media reports, armed militants attacked the UN peacekeepers’ base that was sheltering civilians in the African country.
Militants used rocket-propelled grenades on the UN base in Bor. Then, the militants opened fire at the base.
The UN base has been sheltering and protecting 5,000 civilians.
The cycle of violence erupted in South Sudan in mid-December when rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar orchestrated a coup to overthrow President Salva Kiir. The loyal militants to Machar have been battling the present administration and the country’s armed forces.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war.
US Condemns The Attack
With the apparent high death toll during the deadly attack, the United States expressed strong condemnation of the attack in Bor, South Sudan.
In a press statement,Deputy Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said the US condemned the attack on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Bor.
“We reiterate our call upon the Government of South Sudan to end the violence and to fulfill its primary responsibility to maintain law and order and provide full support for the UNMISS mission to protect civilians.” – Ms. Harf
In addition, the United States also condemned the recent attacks and counter-attacks in the town of Bentiu by anti-government and pro-government forces in violation of the January 23 Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) agreement.
“The deliberate targeting of civilians during these attacks is unacceptable and those responsible for such acts must be held accountable.” – Ms. Harf
The US reiterated its call on both sides of the conflict to honor the CoH agreement signed on January 23, end all military actions, halt all attacks directed at civilians, and enter into an inclusive, political dialogue aimed at ensuring peace, justice, security and economic stability for the people of South Sudan.
500 Killed In Recent Violence In Bor
In mid-December 2013, South Sudan’s military lost control of a key town in the country’s east, to army mutineers.
The army lost Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, to a military faction associated with former Vice President Riek Machar, who denied attempting a coup. Riek Machar claimed it is President Salva Kiir who is inciting ethnic tensions.
Jonglei state has been plagued with ethnic tension between the Nuer and Murle tribes in recent years with recurrent attacks and massacres of civilians.
Reports coming out of the area say the clashes between the country’s army and army mutineers have killed some 500 people, mainly soldiers.