200 civilians drown fleeing violence in South Sudan

A boat carrying civilians desperately fleeing heavy violence in South Sudan sank while crossing the Nile River, killing some 200 people, a military official said Tuesday, as fighting between rebels and government forces moved closer to the capital.

A boat carrying civilians desperately fleeing heavy violence in South Sudan sank while crossing the Nile River, killing some 200 people, a military official said Tuesday, as fighting between rebels and government forces moved closer to the capital.

Warfare in the world’s newest state has displaced more than 400,000 people since mid-December, with the front lines constantly shifting as loyalist troops and renegade forces gain and lose territory in battles often waged along ethnic lines.

A boat fleeing violence on the Nile carrying mostly women and children sank on Saturday, killing at least 200 people, according to Lt. Col Aguer, the South Sudanese military spokesman.

He also said there was fighting about 70 kilometres north of the South Sudanese capital of Juba.

Heavy fighting erupted in Malakal, the capital of oil-producing Upper Nile state, which renegade forces briefly held before government troops retook it. The fighting began early Tuesday morning in the vicinity of the United Nations base in Malakal, with combatants using heavy machine-guns and tanks, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at UN headquarters in New York.

Stray bullets are reported to have landed inside the UN base, wounding people who sought shelter there, according to Nesirky. As a result of Tuesday’s violence, he said, the number of people seeking refuge at the UN base in Malakal has nearly doubled to 20,000.

South Sudan has a history of ethnic rivalry, and its many tribes have long battled each other in recurring cycles of violence. The fighting often pits the Dinka ethnic group of President Salva Kiir against the Nuer group of Riek Machar, the former vice-president who now commands renegade forces.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed in the latest fighting, according to one estimate by an International Crisis Group analyst.

Some of the fiercest battles have been fought in Jonglei, South Sudan’s largest state, where for months government troops had been trying to put down a local rebellion.

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… 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