Civilians and Chinese Peacekeeper Among 300 Dead as Violence Erupts in South Sudan

Delegates at the AU summit in Kigali.   Delegates at the AU summit in Kigali. © Cyril NDEGEYA

11 July 2016
Fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and soldiers in support of the Vice President, Riek Machar broke out on Thursday and Friday in Juba, South Sudan.

The fighting has killed 300 people, including civilians and a Chinese peacekeeper. After South Sudan celebrated its fifth anniversary of independence on Saturday, fighting continued on Sunday, which raised fears of a return to civil war, despite the peace deal from August 2015. At least 42,000 people have fled their homes, with as many as 7,000 people seeking shelter in UN peacekeeping bases, and 35,000 others turning to aid groups and churches in the city.

Hervé Ladsous, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, is convinced that the death toll will rise seeing that many civilians are prevented from reaching safety and protecting in UN compounds.

The UN has considered an emergency request from regional leaders to intervene in Juba and provide security and the separation of the warring sides. The United States has deployed 47 troops to protect US citizens and the US embassy, while Germany has taken 100 of their nationals out of South Sudan.

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