Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy criticised for comments about former Justice Minister's origins

Read more

DEBATE

The Pope's Wake Up Call: How to Kickstart "Haggard" Europe

Read more

ENCORE!

Nobody From Nowhere, Asterix and Obelix and In The Family.

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande's private life faces global scrutiny

Read more

FOCUS

One year on, what has Maidan changed in Ukraine?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to Ferguson grand jury decision

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: Online reactions to the death of Tamir Rice

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Israel: Business is booming in gun shops

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Monica Macovei, Former Romanian justice minister

Read more

Africa

South Sudan rebels capture key town of Bor

© Photo: screengrab

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-19

Rebels in South Sudan have captured the key town of Bor, the country’s military said Thursday, as fighting continues in the aftermath of an apparent coup attempt by forces loyal to former vice president Riek Machar.

"Our soldiers have lost control of Bor to the force of Riek Machar late on Wednesday," said army spokesman Philip Aguer.

"There was shooting last night... we don't have information on casualties or the displaced in the town, as operations are ongoing."

According to UN figures, at least 19 civilians have been killed in violence in Bor, which lies some 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the capital Juba in the eastern state of Jonglei, one of the most volatile regions in the country.

Tensions have been mounting in South Sudan since President Salva Kiir fired Machar as his deputy in July.

Fighting between army units broke out in Juba last Sunday in what Kiir has claimed was a coup attempt by Machar’s forces.

Machar, who is now on the run, has denied any coup attempt, however, and in turn accuses Kiir of using it as an excuse to purge his political rivals.

Ethnic rivalries

Although Juba itself has since become calm, violence appears to be spreading to other parts of the oil-rich East African nation leading to fears of a return to civil war in the world’s youngest country.

Ethnic rivalries appear to be playing a significant role in the fighting, with the clashes apparently pitting soldiers from the majority Dinka tribe of President Kiir against those from Machar's Nuer ethnic group.

The South Sudan government said Wednesday that at least 500 people, most of them soldiers, have been killed in fighting since Sunday and at least 700 more wounded.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon told reporters Wednesday that South Sudan was experiencing a political crisis that “urgently needs to be dealt with through political dialogue.” Ban said he urged Kiir “to resume dialogue with the political opposition”.

South Sudan has been plagued by ethnic violence since it peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

Date created : 2013-12-19

  • SOUTH SUDAN

    ‘Hundreds killed' in South Sudan violence

    Read more

  • SOUTH SUDAN

    South Sudan's Riek Machar: rebel, statesman, 'coup leader'

    Read more

  • SOUTH SUDAN

    UN shelters 10,000 amid clashes in South Sudan’s capital

    Read more

COMMENT(S)