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Many S.Sudan ex-VP's supporters 'halt advance' on key town

Thousands of young South Sudanese fighters loyal to ex-vice president Riek Machar have peeled away from an advance on a key town, the government said Sunday, but there was no immediate confirmation from Machar's supporters. As the UN voiced concern about the youths' mobilisation, government spokesman Michael Makuei told AFP "most of them have returned home". "According to our sources local Lou and Dau Nuer chiefs have convinced the youths," he said. "So it looks like things are calming down, unless" there is another mobilisation.

Many S.Sudan ex-VP's supporters 'halt advance' on key town

Thousands of young South Sudanese fighters loyal to ex-vice president Riek Machar have peeled away from an advance on a key town, the government said Sunday, but there was no immediate confirmation from Machar's supporters. As the UN voiced concern about the youths' mobilisation, government spokesman Michael Makuei told AFP "most of them have returned home". "According to our sources local Lou and Dau Nuer chiefs have convinced the youths," he said. "So it looks like things are calming down, unless" there is another mobilisation.

UN 'concerned' at reports of armed youths massing in S.Sudan

The United Nations on Sunday said it was "extremely concerned" over claims that thousands of armed youths allied to ex-vice president Riek Machar were readying to attack in South Sudan, amid international efforts to broker a ceasefire. Juba has claimed that Machar, the de facto leader of rebels fighting the government, has recruited up to 25,000 young fighters from his Nuer tribe in the eastern state of Jonglei and that they are "ready to attack any time".

Witnesses recount massacre, murders and rape in South Sudan

Recovering from four gunshot wounds on a mattress in a UN base in South Sudan's capital Juba, Simon recounts how he survived what he says was a brutal massacre carried out by government forces. Simon, who would only give his first name for fear of reprisals, says he was arrested with scores of other men in the wake of an outbreak of fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to his rival Riek Machar, a former vice president who was sacked in July.

Massacre, rapes, executions carried out in South Sudan

South Sudanese soldiers have carried out a string of ethnic killings, including a massacre, house-to-house killings and rapes, following an outbreak of fighting more than a week ago, several eyewitnesses have told AFP. Two witnesses alleged they were arrested by government soldiers along with an estimated 250 other men, herded into a police station in the capital Juba and then fired on. The two witnesses, who were both wounded and managed to escape and take shelter at a UN base in Juba, said only 12 men survived the alleged massacre.

South Sudan fighting reopens ethnic divide

Brutal fighting in South Sudan has reopened deep-rooted ethnic divisions, forcing tens of thousands of terrified residents to seek shelter at UN bases or flee in fear of attacks. "I am afraid," said Susan Nakiden, who still has bitter memories of the more two decades of civil war that paved the way to the young nation's independence two years ago, when when she was forced to flee her home. "I just can't imagine being forced to become refugees again," said the mother of three, shocked by a week of violence that has already claimed hundreds of lives.

At least 11 civilians killed in attack on South Sudan base: U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations estimated on Friday that at least 11 people from the ethnic Dinka group in South Sudan were killed during an attack by thousands of armed youths from a different ethnic group on a U.N. peacekeeping base in Jonglei state. About 2,000 ethnic Lou Nuer youths overran the U.N. base in Akobo on Thursday, killing two of the 43 Indian peacekeepers and fleeing with arms and ammunition, the United Nations said. Dozens of Dinka civilians who were killed had sought refuge at the base.

U.N. says peacekeeping base in South Sudan attacked, deaths reported

By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A United Nations peacekeeping base in South Sudan's Jonglei state was attacked on Thursday and the organization has received reports that some people have been killed, a senior U.N. official said. "Our base in Akobo, Jonglei state, was attacked and we have reports that lives are lost. We don't have the details of that yet," Deputy U.N. Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told reporters.

South Sudan soldiers carrying out ethnic killings

South Sudanese soldiers and rebels have executed people based on their ethnicity, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, as fears mount that days of heavy fighting could spiral into civil war. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands more terrified civilians have fled their homes to seek protection at UN bases since the fighting broke out on Sunday in the capital Juba. "Soldiers in Juba sometimes asked individuals about their ethnicity before killing or releasing them, or identified them from facial scarification," HRW said quoting witnesses.

Over 100,000 hit by S. Sudan fighting: UN, aid agencies

Over 100,000 South Sudanese civilians are cut off from aid in the eastern state of Jonglei amid fierce fighting between rival ethnic groups, aid agencies and the United Nations warned Wednesday. Thousands of heavily armed gunmen from rival ethnic groups have been fighting for almost two weeks in the impoverished region, while government troops and UN peacekeepers have said their forces are unable to intervene as they would be overwhelmed.
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