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Massacre on cards in South Sudan

JUBA (SE) : “Over 100,000 people are living in fear and uncertainty and are unable to leave the city,” Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe, from Equatoria, South Sudan, told Radio Easter in Juba.

He said that the country has been hit by a wave of murders and massacres, which are believed to have been carried out by mixed military-civilian groups that target suspected supporters of the former vice president, Riek Machar.

Fides reported him as saying, “There is no shooting in Yei at the moment, but the population lives in constant fear of a new wave of violence and murders.”

The Rome-based news agency said on December 2 that the bishop explained that the people from the surrounding villages cannot travel to Yei, unless they come by air, but connecting flights are all either international or interstate.

Bishop Tombe said that farmers cannot venture onto their land to care for their crops and the population will have to continue using humanitarian assistance to feed itself until well into next year.

The civil war between a faction loyal to the president, Salva Kiir, and one that supports the former vice president, Machar, has taken on an ethnic dimension, opposing the Dinka people and promoting the position of the Nuer.

Other ethnic groupings and tribes have allied themselves to one faction or the other hoping to gain an advantage in their local conflicts.

The representative of the United States of America at the United Nations Council on Human Rights in Geneva has denounced the government in Juba for preparing to support large-scale attacks against the population in Central Equatoria region.

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