Thursday, December 19, 2013
Troops loyal to South Sudanese president loose control over city of Bor
South Sudan’s army (SPLA) acknowledged that it is “not in control of Bor” after forces loyal to Gen. Peter Gatdet Yak overran military bases on Tuesday and took over the town Wednesday evening. SPLA spokesperson Col. Philip Aguer said the national army is meeting to set the next move in light of the development amid growing international concern for the humanitarian situation in Jonglei’s state capital.
Earlier today, South Sudan army said that Gen. Gadet, who was a commander in charge of the SPLA’s 8th Division in Jonglei state, has defected from its ranks.
He reportedly broke off from the national army ranks on allegations that his tribe, the Nuer, have been targeted in the current tension.
Over the weekend clashes erupted in Juba between among units of the presidential guards from competing tribes of Dinka and Nuer. The fighting spread throughout the city which lead to the death of at least 500 people with hundreds more injured.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a news release on Wednesday that the "security conditions in the Jonglei State capital of Bor have deteriorated significantly during the course of the day".
"UNMISS has received reports that heavy fighting erupted in the city in the wee hours of this morning and continued for four hours. The violence triggered an exodus of civilians out of Bor, and thousands have sought shelter at the Mission’s compound on the southeastern outskirts of the city" the statement said.
"As is the case in Juba, UNMISS is providing water, sanitation facilities and medical care to civilians who have taken refuge in its Bor compound. A limited number of tents have been erected to house some of these civilians. Late this afternoon, UNMISS staff members reported that heavy weapons fire erupted in a neighborhood of Bor about a kilometer away from the Mission’s compound".