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South Sudan opposition accuses rebels of killings in Malakal

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January 19, 2014 (JUBA) - More than ten prominent traders and medical doctors from the Shilluk ethnic group in Upper Nile state have been killed, according to South Sudan’s largest opposition party.

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Soldiers from South Sudan’s army patrol the streets of Malakal in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan on December 31, 2013 (AFP)

Onyoti Adigo the head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) at the National Legislative Assembly told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that innocent people had been targeted, some of whom were in the hospital beds in Malakal.

"There has been a fighting in Malakal for the last three days and people are being killed indiscriminately. The situation has now been complicated by the lack of communication. There is no network there. People are using satellite phones and now we hear there is a targeted killing in town", Adigo, himself a Shilluk from Upper Nile, said.

Adigo wondered why it appears the fighting between the government and rebels, which has lasted for over a month, has taken on a tribal dimension.

An internal power struggle in the leadership of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) spread into South Sudan’s army (SPLA) on December 15 in Juba and quickly spread to Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states, where defectors from the army and ethnic armed groups managed to gain control of some key towns.

Talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa may see a ceasefire agreement signed over the next few days but already over half a million people have been displaced and over 1,000 - as many as 10,000 by some estimates - people have been killed.

“We are surprised that the fighting has taken tribal dimension. We thought it was a fight between the government and the rebels but now it appears to be taking tribal dimension, killing people who have not indicated any interest to participate in the conflict. The people who have now been killed are just innocent people”, Adigo explained.

House to house killing

Meanwhile James Okuk, a renowned political commentator and lecturer at Juba University told Sudan Tribune that "the situation in Malakal is deteriorating badly."

"There has been a targeted killing of our people for the last three days now in Malakal town. So far we have information that ten prominent businessmen in the town have been killed. The situation is deteriorating from bad to worse. There has been house to house killing of our people in Malakal and the government and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan are silent up to now, when people are dying", said Okuk.

The UNMISS compound in Malakal is now home to 22,000 people who fled there to seek shelter from the conflict.

Okuk named Mojwok Nyacik, Aban Yokwan, Agoding Mojwok as being among the more than ten prominent Shilluk traders and medical doctors killed during the alleged house to house killings Malakal town.

"These people were killed in their houses. Others were killed in the hospital beds. Doctors who were nursing them were shot dead. One of the doctors who were in the hospital treating patients was shot. He is now in a critical situation at [the] UNMISS camp in Malakal", said Okuk.

He says he has received reports from survivors who fled to the UN camp of women being raped.

“It is really a worrying situation. We hear women are being raped and killed. The worse [thing] is that these people follow civilians to the hospital and in the churches where they have gone to seek protection because they are being removed and killed in their houses”, Okuk explained, urging the United Nations to provide protection to such civilians.

The spokesperson for the South Sudanese army, Colonel Philip Aguer, said government troops were still trying their best to ensure that rebels fighting the government in Malakal town are defeated.

"The SPLA forces have been fighting these rebels since Wednesday. Our forces have managed to push them out from most of the areas in the town and it is just a matter of time before we take complete control of the town to rescue these civilians who have fallen prey of the situation", Aguer said on Sunday.

He did not provide any further details about the ongoing fighting in Upper Nile, which, like Unity state exports, South Sudan’s oil to international markets through neighbouring Sudan.

As the conflict enters its sixth week there is growing concern the other countries in the region will be dragged into fighting. Uganda has already deployed troops to South Sudan to fight alongside the South Sudanese army and Kenya has also sent some soldiers to the capital Juba to help evacuate its citizens.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011 after decades of conflict as part of a power sharing deal in 2005.

However, South Sudan’s defence minister has admitted that the young nation may be forced to ask the Sudan Armed Forces to help to help the SPLA secure the oil fields, which mainly lie just south of the new international border if they come under threat from the rebels.

Oil production has already reduced from 240,000 barrels per day to around 200,000 bpd since the fighting spread from the capital to Unity and Upper Nile as many staff from the oil companies operating there have been evacuated.

(ST)

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  • 20 January 07:07, by Johndumo14

    Plan(A)recaptures cities uder Riek control.
    Plan(B)distroy his bases or camps near those towns.
    Plan(c)Special forces must hunt them in their hide out places
    Plan(D)Arest Dr.R
    This peace talks is good,Salva Kiir must use the same tactics
    khartoum used to deceive Mahcar during 1990,this time Riek machar is the looser. you ditroyed 3 states and people and properties because you want to be presiden

    repondre message

    • 20 January 07:34, by Johndumo14

      Riek machar thinks he is from the largest tribe,no it is untrue,what about Zande in yambi+incentral africa and Dungu in congo,what about the equatorians tribes when they join forces together you can`t mach with nuer.simply Riek is sick in mind.Now Riek Machar is defeated.If you are a military man you understand the word defeat,means loses in man and materials,means more deaths.

      repondre message

      • 20 January 21:42, by George Bol

        James Okuk,
        Are you still supporting Riek Machar?
        To for you to understand the reality of us not supporting devil Riek because he is a power greedy individual. But even weak in thinking in political term. How many time Riek tried coup,but fail, you are the judge mr Okuk!

        repondre message

    • 20 January 07:44, by Johndumo14

      Who will follow Riek Machar foot steps?
      There is only one president in any country and if you wnant to be a president of south sudan is through elections,not by tribewar even if you are from the smallest tribe you can become a president. example Barak Obama of USA is he from the largest tribe? No, we want Kiir to give the power to a man from the smallest tribe and let us see what,nur can say.

      repondre message

    • 20 January 08:05, by Johndumo14

      Integration of militia forces in to the national army especially nuer tribe is a very big mistake.Most of these militia forces supported or trained by khartoum,no respect for lives ,they have no education back ground,Juba must not repeat the same mistake again if you want peace in s.sudan,the nuuer rebels or militia forces must intergrated in to civilians life after all there are many other jobo

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      • 20 January 12:03, by Bentiu son

        Dr Lam Akol’s supporters shut up your nattering mouths, don’t not wake the sleeping lion my State mates n good neighbors. We mighty Nuer warriors have nothing with a Shilluk as a tribe but we have a problem with those who side with genocidal President Kiir Mayar.Slave hearted SHilluk Moron Dr Okuk,what happened now while u had been jailed by Kiir’s brutal regime for two years? Is it becoz of Dr La

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        • 20 January 12:10, by Bentiu son

          m Akol recent married to killer Salva Kiir Mayardit? It is unfortunate,for Shilluk opportunities to join regional alliance against their in-laws Nuer tribes due for our Greater Upper Nile oil money while their true sons like Hon Lt Gen Pagan Amum, Lt Gen Oyai Deng Ajak n Dr Aduok Nyaba are in jails under Salva Kiir’s genocidal regime.Two choices either you join us or be with our enemy Dinka BEG mi

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        • 20 January 14:58, by mathem jech amer

          Now they were saying it was Nuers Vs Dinkas, is it the same or the course has changed?

          repondre message

  • 20 January 07:23, by Gabriel KK

    Where is the UNMISS?, why is Hilda Silent when innocent civilians are being abused and killing by Rieks rebels? why is the Goverment afraid to get rid of this Lady out of the Country? Kick her out, she is bias!!

    repondre message

    • 20 January 07:27, by Tong dut

      The two kings,non of them will not rule south sudan.

      repondre message

  • 20 January 08:00, by Jalaby

    Now who is killing who? no body really knows the answer!
    You guys are heading to Somalia situation, you’re copying Somalia situation right at the heart of Africa and that what we have been warning you for so long but you never listened!
    Former Paramount chief of Dinka Ngok, Deng Majok advised you long time ago never to move away shimaleen (Arab) people from the south

    repondre message

    • 20 January 08:06, by Jalaby

      and always keep them among you and in between you same as glass that can’t stay together without a mediator in the middle otherwise you will kill yourself so badly and that’s exactly your situation now unfortunately!
      Former chief Dinka Ngok were known to be a man with farseeing and farsighted capability, a man of wisdom and that’s why he was able to win Messeryia

      repondre message

      • 20 January 08:15, by Jalaby

        trust and voted for him in so rare incidence against their traditional leader Babo Nimir and he was able to speak on behalf of both:Messeryia & Ngok Dinka inside the council of Kordofan province!
        Former Dinka Ngok chief realized and got it before anyone else that the south has no the essential and basic components to establish state by its own and he stayed north!

        repondre message

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