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12 Sudanese refugees, 7 aid workers killed in clashes in Upper Nile, says rights group

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August 8, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The Blue Nile Centre for Human Rights and Peace (BNCHRP) has said that 12 Sudanese refugees and seven aid workers were killed in South Sudan in the ongoing clashes between the government army and the rebels in the Upper Nile state.

The local organisation pointed that clashes which are taking place among five military forces in Maban county in the Upper Nile state where 130,000 Sudanese refugees live in four camps are threatening lives of those refugees and the work of humanitarian groups.

Clashes erupted last Sunday in Maban county in the Upper Nile state. The county’s capital Bonj witnessed intermittent waves of killings and shelling which continued over the past few days.

The BNCHRP said in a statement received by Sudan Tribune that more than 12 civilians from Maban residents and refugees were killed in four camps, including Duru, Youssef Batail, Kaya, and Ginderasa besides seven workers from international aid organizations and dozens of militants.

The statement pointed that tens of thousands of refugees fled their camps in South Sudan and returned to their original areas of displacement in Sudan’s Blue Nile state, saying that thousands of South Sudanese took refuge at Sudanese refugees’ camps which multiplied the number of refugees at Duru camp on the border with the Blue Nile state from 48,000 to 100,000 refugees within four days.

The group said it identified five military forces which continued to threaten lives of the Blue Nile refugees in the Upper Nile state, pointing that the government army and the rebel forces led by Riek Machar are the most obvious among the five forces.

It further said it monitored clashes between the government army and the rebels along the area which surrounds the refugees’ camps in order to control oilfields which are very close to the camps and on the strategic major cities such as Malakal, Renk, and Nasser.

The rights group added that this situation led to attacks on some refugee camps by elements from the hosting communities, saying that 21 people were killed in Youssef Batail camp in February and March of this year.

The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, on Wednesday condemned in the “strongest” terms killings of five South Sudanese employees of non-governmental organisations in Maban county.

Thousands have already been killed and over a million displaced in the conflict, which initially started in the capital, Juba, but later extended to three of the country’s Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei states.

(ST)

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