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South Sudan rival forces clash in oil-rich Upper Nile state

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December 27, 2016 (JUBA) – Clashes and reports of gunfire caused chaotic scenes, interfered with economic activities and disrupted Christmas celebrations in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.

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Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)

Several aid workers and local officials told Sudan Tribune Tuesday that Christmas celebrations were disrupted by armed clashes which occurred 24 December, as most people stayed indoors.

A humanitarian worker confirmed that there were clashes near Doro camp in Maban county on Sunday night, and that 8-10 people suffered injuries, some of whom were reportedly killed in their houses.

He said people living in the same compound where he resides were terrified and panicked after a scuffle was followed by loud explosion.

Photos and video clips on social media showed heavily armed government soldiers in the area responding to the incident as residents reportedly either fled or sought sanctuary in nearby bushes.

A similar incident reportedly unfolded in Yei where armed opposition forces clashes with the government troops, resulting in the death of at least five government soldiers, with several others wounded.

Local officials and lawmakers told Sudan Tribune that there were calls made for shots fired at youths fighting in Yei town on Sunday.

It is, however, unclear if the two incidents were in any way connected.

The clashes come barely a month after South Sudan President Salva Kiir announced a national dialogue involving a bottom-top approach to address local grievances and political issues affecting the young nation.

He single-handedly formed a committee to lead the dialogue, a move his critics claim could derail the process.

"The National Dialogue we have initiated shall go down in the history books as that turning point where South Sudan shocked the world in achieving total peace and unity on its own. Peace and prosperity are within our reach and I challenge all of you to unite and work together to return the good days of South Sudan," Kiir told the state-owned SSBC.

"This country shall emerge stronger, united and prosperous and we shall be the envy of the world", he further stressed.

The committee is yet to announce a start date for the dialogue process.

(ST)

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  • 27 December 2016 18:16, by Fair Man

    Salva Kiir should dissolve the committee he unilaterally formed and consult all stakeholders on who should be nominated. This is not a job but an attempt you unify the differences. Nevertheless, the ACRSS must first be revived by deploying urgently RPF and reinstatement of Dr. Riek Machar to his position as FVP. Short of this, Salva should hold his dialogue among his Warrap Community alone.

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    • 28 December 2016 09:22, by TRUE WATCHDOG

      @Fair Man

      Your point of divergence is not quite decipherable as such you’re talking of what’s been done already.The committee is comprised of all stakeholders from other political parties,religious,SPLM-Io and so many others.So,why do you claim of exclusiveness when it’s not right or do you think Riek should have been a member or what?

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  • 27 December 2016 19:09, by Lou Nuer The Great

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA VIVAVIVA SPLA IO these illegitimate gov,t unliterally call zero national dialogue while attacking our position in maban and yei good lesson you give to them

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    • 28 December 2016 01:01, by king kush

      Viva what why are you happy because people were attacked and killed in their homes the day before Christmas. Some of you rebels supporters are severely mentally ill.

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    • 28 December 2016 09:31, by TRUE WATCHDOG

      @Lou Nuer
      In the world of people with logical and psychiatric free minds,the democratically elected government can’t be termed ’’illegitimate’’!! There’s a reasonable sense from you to be vigilant because Riek is your big devil to take you to the hell otherwise you’d not have attacked civilians while celebrating X-mas!!! What a great derision!! You better applaud a move for peace not war my fellow

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  • 28 December 2016 14:11, by Fair Man

    You are wrong True Watchdog. We had elections in 2010 and nothing more. Omar Hassan el Bashir has renewed his mandate by elections in 2015. Had it happened that there was secret to legalize the current stooges in Juba? No, they ammended the constitution on 24.3.2016, and extended their life-span without consultation. Everything they do is illegal and should be respected.

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