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Over 1,800 South Sudanese flee to Uganda

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December 25, 2013 (KAMPALA) - At least 1,845 South Sudanese have crossed into Uganda from South Sudan as a conflict that threatens to rip apart the world’s newest nation continues into its second week after fighting broke out between rival factions of South Sudan’s army (SPLA).

The dipslaced South Sudanese, Ugandan police said, crossed through the Elego-Nimule border point into Uganda.

"1,845 South Sudanese, 7,977 Ugandans, 4811 Kenyans have crossed into Uganda," Patrick Okema told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

Okema said 61 of the South Sudanese have sought political asylum in the country.

Other nationalities that have crossed into Uganda, according to Patrick Okema of the Uganda police, are 409 Eritreans, 360 Indians and 225 Ethiopians.

So far a total of 16,002 people, including Ugandans, have fled the violence in South Sudan via the Elegu and Nimule border points since 18 December, according to the Ugandan police.

20 UGANDANS FEARED DEAD IN BOR

Around bout 20 Ugandan citizens are feared to have been killed in the violence in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The paper says 2,000 more Ugandans are believed to still be stuck in Bor at a United Nations base waiting to be evacuated back.

A Ugandan who spoke to the newspaper by phone said they are being targeted by rebels loyal to Machar following claims that Ugandan military planes were involved bombing Bor.

"Ever since US planes came to evacuate their citizens and were shot at on Sunday, the rebels controlling this town started targeting Ugandans saying our government was supporting government forces to bomb their camps," Hebert Nnyanja, a Ugandan tuck in the United Nations compound in Bor told the newspaper by phone.

Uganda has denied that its planes were involved in the bombing of Bor. The country has also denied claims that its forces are fighting alongside South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in support of South Sudan president Salva Kiir.

Attempts by Uganda to evacuate its citizens from Bor have been hampered by the deteriorating security situation.

(ST)

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