Residents of S-Sudan’s Bor Flee as Troops Warn of Militia Assault

Hundreds of people have fled South Sudan’s flashpoint town of Bor as the army warned of an imminent attack by the “White Army” militia on Monday, two weeks into ethnic fighting that has ravaged the world’s newest state.
The officials said that more than 1,000 people have been killed since clashes erupted in Juba, on Dec. 15 and spread to oil-producing regions, unsettling oil markets and raising fears of a civil war between the main Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups.
The White Army made up of Nuer youths who dust their bodies in white ash has in the past sided with Riek Machar, the Nuer former vice president of South Sudan who the government accused of starting the fighting.
The Spokesman for the government of South Sudan’s Unity state denied Machar was in control of the White Army fighters, raising the prospect that the violence was spreading beyond the control of widely recognised ethnic leaders.
“The White Army is not very far from Bor so an attack is imminent.
“Civilians have fled the town, crossing the White Nile River and heading for the swamps,’’ Sudan army (SPLA) Spokesman, Philip Aguer, said on phone from Juba.
Report says Nuer militias massacred Dinkas in Bor during an outburst of ethnic fighting in 1991.
The latest fighting has left South Sudan, one of the world’s biggest recipients of aid, facing its most significant crisis since it gained independence from northern neighbour Sudan in 2011.
Western powers and bordering countries have scrambled to stem the unrest, worried the conflict could spill over porous borders and destabilise fragile East Africa.
South Sudan’s neighbours have called on the warring factions to lay down their arms and begin peace talks by Dec. 31.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni were in Juba on Monday to keep up the pressure.

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