Rebels take over South Sudan oil regions

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rebel troops under the command of Riek Machar, former vice president of South Sudan, today stated they now control a number of areas of the country including the oil-rich Unity State which borders Sudan. Government troops are attempting to take back Bor, the capital of the state of Jonglei.

Location of Unity State within South Sudan.
Image: Ivan25.

In Juba, reportedly at least 500 people were killed in the last week. The US military said three US military aircraft — CV-22 Ospreys — were attacked by the rebel troops around Bor, and four US soldiers were injured and taken to Nairobi, Kenya for treatment. At a United Nations facility in Akobo, an attack killed two Indian peacekeepers and at least eleven civilians on Thursday.

Since South Sudan's 2011 independence from Sudan, ethnic conflicts have caused hundreds of deaths.

World leaders have reacted to the violence. UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon said: "I demand that all political, military and militia leaders stop hostilities and end the violence against the civilians. I call on them to do everything in their power to ensure that their followers hear their message loud and clear."

US President Barack Obama said "any effort to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community".