A South Sudanese woman carries food donated by Saudi Arabia Government through the Islamic Council of South Sudan Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Juba South Sudan. An estimated 100,000 people are experiencing famine, and another 1 million people are on the brink of starvation, South Sudan’s government and U.N. agencies said in late February. (AP Photo /Samir Bol)

New South Sudan fighting displaces 25,000 people

Fighting has caused a reduction in humanitarian services

NAIROBI, Kenya — At least 25,000 people were displaced after fighting in the town of Kodok, according to a spokesman for the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, one day after the top United Nations official in South Sudan warned of a government offensive on the town.

The fighting has caused a reduction in humanitarian services and a shortage of water for the displaced, Phillippe Carr told The Associated Press. Civilians are fleeing to the nearby South Sudanese town of Aburoc, Carr said.

On Tuesday, there were reports of shelling in the town of Kodok and on Wednesday the town was feared deserted with military helicopters sighted nearby.

South Sudan’s government troops were on an offensive in Kodok and the Upper Nile region, head of the U.N. mission in South Sudan David Shearer told members of the Security Council on Tuesday. He warned that 70,000 civilians could be displaced.

“Virtually no part of the country is immune from conflict,” Shearer told the 15-member body at the U.N. He added there “has been no concerted effort by any party to adhere to a ceasefire.”

The government offensive in Kodok appears to be one of the most significant so far this year, causing disarray among rebel leader Johnson Olony and his Shilluk forces. It is also expected to create a flow of civilians fleeing into neighbouring Sudan.

Shearer told a press conference at U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday that “there are increasing numbers of people crossing into Sudan” from Kodok and he thanked the Sudanese government for opening corridors from the north of South Sudan.

The U.N. envoy said the number of people fleeing South Sudan reached about 60,000 per month in the first three months of the year.

If that rate continues, Shearer said, before the end of 2017 “we’ll have more than two million people who will be refugees.”

He said religious leaders in the “critical town” of Torit in Eastern Equatoria in the south told him recently that 75 per cent of the town’s population had fled to Uganda.

On Wednesday, the chief monitor of the peace deal, former Botswanan President Festus Mogae, said South Sudan was experiencing “a crisis within a crisis.”

“Men, women and children are suffering and dying of starvation because the leadership at various levels is failing to prevent it,” Mogae said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross also evacuated its aid workers from Kodok, spokeswoman Alyona Synenko told AP.

A spokesman for South Sudan’s military was not available for comment.

The attack on Kodok comes after a flurry of recent government offensives across South Sudan and questions the legitimacy of an August 2015 peace deal signed by President Salva Kiir.

Since the August peace deal was signed the opposition has fragmented and the U.N. has noted the presence of ethnic cleansing and declared famine in two counties. Around 1 million people are at risk of starvation in South Sudan and more than 1.7 million people have fled the country.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Province purchases land for new Red Deer courthouse

Construction to begin in the fall of 2019

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month