25 December 2013

South Sudan Government, Rebels Clash in Oil State

Rebel soldiers and government troops in South Sudan are fighting for control of Malakal, the capital of oil-producing Upper Nile State.

Clashes in the town began Tuesday and picked up again Wednesday, with government officials acknowledging the army is not in full control of the town.

Late Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council voted to to send an additional 5,500 peacekepeers to troubled South Sudan, where U.N. official Toby Lanzer said it is likely thousands of people have been killed in fighting over the past 10 days.

Witnesses say many people have been targeted for being ethnic Dinka or Nuer. In a Christmas Eve message, President Salva Kiir called on South Sudanese to stop all tribal violence.

Meanwhile, the U.N. mission in South Sudan is denying a report that a mass grave was found in Bentiu, the Unity State capital held by rebels.

The U.N. human rights office said Tuesday that the bodies of up to 75 ethnic Dinka soldiers had been found. But the U.N mission says the report was an "inflation" of a skirmish that resulted in about 15 fatalities.

Copyright © 2013 Voice of America. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.