Foreigners flee slaughters in South Sudan

2013-12-21 08:00
Civilians arrive at the compound of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan, adjacent to Juba International Airport, to take refuge. (AP)

Civilians arrive at the compound of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan, adjacent to Juba International Airport, to take refuge. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - Battles between rival ethnic groups spread across South Sudan on Friday as foreign governments scrambled to get their nationals away from reported slaughters and a refugee build-up.

African ministers pushed President Salva Kiir to start talks with his former vice president Riek Machar.

But the death toll mounted and the United Nations strongly condemned an attack on one of its bases in which at least 11 civilians and two Indian peacekeepers were killed.

The UN officials reported that up to 3 000 armed youths had gathered around another camp at Bor in Jonglei state where 14 000 people have sought refuge.

Six days into the battles between followers of Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and Machar, a Nuer, at least 500 people have been killed in the capital Juba alone.

The UN says more than 35 000 people are sheltering in its compounds across the country and Juba airport was packed with foreigners scrambling to escape the chaos.

Britain sent a second military transporter to Juba on Friday to evacuate 93 people from the country.

China National Petroleum Corporation started pulling its workers out of South Sudan's oil fields and other Chinese firms followed the move, China's foreign ministry said.

The United States has deployed 45 troops in Juba to protect US property and closed down its embassy. US President Barack Obama has warned that South Sudan "stands at the precipice."

Uganda said it also deployed special forces to get its nationals out of Juba and help secure the city.


The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the second time in as many days, denounced the violence, and issued an appeal Friday for renewed efforts to restore peace in South Sudan.

"The Secretary General reiterates his call for all parties to exercise restraint, and to cease hostilities," the UN leader said, one day after the deadly attack on one of its bases.

Violence erupted after a meeting last week of the National Liberation Council of the failed to lessen tensions in the ruling party.

Ban urged leaders of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement "to resolve their personal differences through dialogue immediately."

The ethnic divide grew with reports from around the country of killings of Dinka and Nuer.

At least 2 000 armed youths, believed to be Nuer, stormed a UN base in Akobo on Thursday, killing "at least 11" Dinka civilians and two Indian peacekeepers, the UN Mission in South Sudan said.

A third Indian peacekeeper was badly wounded and taken to Juba for treatment, an UNMISS statement said.

About 36 ethnic Dinka civilians had sought refuge in the base where 43 Indian peacekeepers and six police advisors were stationed.

The two Indian soldiers were killed "defending the base against the assailants" who launched "a sustained attack," UNMISS said.

The armed youths fired on the civilians who had taken refuge and seized all of the weapons and ammunition in the base before fleeing.

Heavy fighting

Meanwhile, between 2 000 and 3 000 armed youths were reported close to a UN base at Bor, the main town in Jonglei state, where 14 000 people have fled, France's UN envoy Gerard Araud said after emergency UN Security Council talks on the crisis.

Araud, Security Council president for December, said there was "heavy fighting" in Bor and worries about where the youths might be heading.

Troops loyal to Machar seized Bor on Wednesday.

Edmond Mulet, assistant UN secretary general for peacekeeping, briefed the closed Security Council meeting on still more clashes, diplomats said.

Nuer youth entered one oil facility at Bentiu in Unity state and ordered all ethnic Dinka employees to step forward and then killed them, Mulet quoted witnesses as saying.

At least five employees were killed, according to UN sources in South Sudan.

A group of African foreign ministers is in Juba and met with Salva Kiir on Friday.

Mulet said the president had agreed to "unconditional dialogue" with his opponent to end the crisis.

Kiir has accused Machar of staging an attempted coup. The former vice president has denied the charge, but his whereabouts is unknown.

Civil war

Mulet said there had been at least 500 deaths in Juba since the fighting started on Sunday and the United Nations was still verifying the toll in the rest of the country.

He said there were more than 35 000 people in UN bases around the country, including 20 000 at two compounds in Juba and 14 000 at another in Pibor in Jonglei state.

The UN mission is also sheltering civilians in Bentiu, the main town in Unity state.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011 as part of a process after a two decade civil war with the Khartoum government that left two million dead.

It has never been able to heal its own ethnic rivalry, however.

Obama has warned that hopes for South Sudan that accompanied its independence are now "at risk".

Read more on:    un  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA ad scores nearly half a millions hits on YouTube

The DA's "Ayisafani" (It's not the same) election TV advert - originally pulled off the air by the SABC - has garnered nearly half a million views on YouTube.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.23

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.