By Jessica A Badebye
At least 272 people are feared to have been killed including 33 civilians since fighting erupted between South Sudan’s warring parties of President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar. Reports from Juba, the country’s capital said fresh fighting erupted Monday morning in which one UN peace keeper from China is believed to have lost his life.
Fighting between soldiers loyal to President Kiir, leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and those loyal to First Vice President Machar of Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) started last Thursday (9th July), the eve of the country’s 5th Independence Day celebrations, in Juba. The rival factions accused each other for having started the confrontation that led to the clashes which have now escalated to uncertainty.
Renewed fighting in South Sudan means that the rival factions have gone back to war therefore violating all peace agreements. By the time we went to press, at least 896 South Sudanese nationals had fled to Uganda according to information from the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda. There are reports that both President Kiir and Dr Machar may not be in full control of their forces.