Friday, December 27, 2013

South Sudan neighbours back president, urge peace talks

Kuria and Warsama,
If the disagreement started in the Baracks amongst Salva Kiir security men and quickly spread outside to the public, it was not a secret that, Salva Kiir had trouble within his own Government where he had failed to carry forward Plan of Action for his people, a cause which South Sudan fought for and the purpose for their many years of struggle led by John Garang. The mistrust did not start now but was a long time simmering. Salva Kiir realized he was loosing ground and so he cooked up conspiracy theories aided by Museveni, Al-Bashir and the Ethiopia Prime Minister, for which Salva Kiir was invited to join IGAD. It is all because of corruption and running away from responsibility to look for Get Rich Quick with public finances, taxpayer, wealth and resources with Land Grabbing in the illegal and unconstitutional occupation of public land. It is all because he stopped and deviated from issues that impacted South Sudan people negatively in the real world.... why the likes of Salva Kiir are in the plot playing for conspiracy theories and not for people's objectives.........It is not Rocket Science to establish facts why Salva Kiir made up the story of Coup........It does not add up with the instantanious bombing of Uganda special army in Bor and the occupation of the same........I am surprised by the report from U.S. Special Envoy to South Sudan Mr. Donald Booth dismissing IGAD and the discounting of why all people held should not be freed according to Riek Machar's demand for any purposeful dialogue for reconciliation......It is either he is trying to avoid facts or he is compromised and is an interested party.....There is no obsolute reason why Ex-Finance Minister Kosti Manibe, Ex-Cabinet Affairs Minister Deng Alor, and the former Secretary General of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum should be held in custody. These are what is magnifying the Civil War.......and this is what the IGAD Members failed to resolved because they have taken sides to support Salva Kiir blanketly.........For any good resolution, all facts must be laid down first before agreement for Peace Talks can be realized........
The word Coup comes from Salva Kiir and it is possible Salva Kiir made it up as cover-up. The problem started from The powerplay in the government long before he sacked Riek Machar. These were the reasons for constant disagreement they had and where most crucial efforts to build a program of national reconciliation failed its implementation to the satisfaction of all ethnic groups of South Sudan which was mostly over the control of Oil Wealth resources. Machar had a scientific strategic approach for an inclusive Government; a Plan of Action to build a fair and sustainable ethnic relations that were according to those of John Garang prospective plan which was already documented awaiting its full implementation, but Salva Kiir disbanded it and finally gave authority to Church leaders to formulate prospects of the program instead.
Salva Kiir, mostly educated in the bush, does not have well defined objectives for an inclusive governance but relied on a collective shared input which he short-changed. Since he has limited skills and vision for practical Administrative management, he ought to have stayed the cause and implemented Garang's Vision in full which was popularly accepted and which was the foundation of South Sudan Government for a good governance where all ethnic groups are properly such Salva Kiir lacks the vision of his predecessor, John Garang, who died in a helicopter crash in 2005, the year a peace deal was signed with Sudan. The vision of Garang was already documented and was operational for which Salva Kiir deviated from. The people and soldiers of South Sudan are all aware of John Garang prospective Plan for South Sudan which was popularly agreed upon and which is why John Garang was killed and where many people suspect Museveni was involved in the killing of John Garang. In reality, Salva Kiir was building slowly and surely ethnic conflict, which he saw coming as people demanded for it. A call of Referendum will prove Salva Kiir wrong, it is why Salva Kiir joined the gang of the corrupt, why he recently joined IGAD whose activities are done clandestinely sneakily, secretively and without accountability and transparency.
Going by the history of insurgencies, Nepotism, terrorism, massacres, extra-judicial killings, Land Grabbing with illegal occupation as well as invasions and injustices in the Region of Great Lakes, Uhuru, Museveni and Al-Bashir are well known for it…… such, their mission for association interest in the IGAD with Salva Kiir is not a surprise that they are holed in for a bloody South Sudan.
Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
Peoples's comments:
Anonymous42 seconds ago
They better figure out something or risk foreign intervention.
Dubya8 hours ago
Well the idiot shouldn't have fired the VP. He's reaping now.
Job Naman14 hours ago
Salva Kiir is ajoker he should not rule the country with his militery experience but he needs wisdom

South Sudan offers olive branch to rebels, releases prisoners

By Aaron Maasho and Richard Lough 2 hours ago
African leaders to hold crisis talks over S. Sudan
By Aaron Maasho and Richard Lough
JUBA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - South Sudan said on Friday it was ready for a ceasefire and would release eight of 11 senior politicians arrested over an alleged coup plot, raising hopes it was edging towards a deal to end ethnic-based fighting ravaging the world's newest nation.
There was no immediate reaction from Riek Machar, the former vice president who the government accuses of starting the conflict that has spread quickly over the landlocked state, threatening its vital oil industry.
"We have agreed in principle to a ceasefire to begin immediately, but our forces are prepared to defend themselves if attacked," the government said on its Twitter feed.
Fighting between rival groups of soldiers erupted in the capital Juba on December 15, then triggered clashes in half of South Sudan's 10 states - often along ethnic lines, between Machar's group, the Nuer, and President Salva Kiir's Dinka.
Washington, other Western powers and regional governments, fearful of a civil war in a fragile region with notoriously porous borders, have tried to mediate.
The release of eight of the 11 people detained in the aftermath of the fighting suggests South Sudan's government may have softened its stance over who is to blame.
"It's my expectation ... that once released, they (the eight) will participate in a constructive manner in the efforts to bring about peace ... and resolve the political issues that sparked this conflict," U.S. Special Envoy to South Sudan Donald Booth said on Friday evening.
However, it may not be enough to satisfy Machar, who demanded all the 11 released as a condition for negotiations.
Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Reuters the authorities would continue to hold three of the most prominent figures - ex-Finance Minister Kosti Manibe, ex-Cabinet Affairs Minister Deng Alor, and the former Secretary General of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Pagan Amum.
Two of the eight were already free, Ateny said.
President Kiir's hand was strengthened earlier in the day when South Sudan's neighbors threw their weight behind him, saying they would not accept any bid to oust him.
Addressing a special summit of the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an east African regional body, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta urged Kiir and Machar to seize "the small window of opportunity" and start peace talks.
"Let it be known that we in IGAD will not accept the unconstitutional overthrow of a duly and democratically elected government in South Sudan. Violence has never provided optimum solutions," Kenyatta said in a statement.
The army also said it had regained control of Malakal, capital of Upper Nile state, a territory which currently supplies all of South Sudan's crude after fighting shut down oilfields in other areas.
"(Government forces) are 100 percent in control of Malakal town and are pursuing the forces of the coup," army spokesman Philip Aguer said by phone in South Sudan's capital Juba. There was no independent confirmation of the report.
Kiir sacked Machar as vice president in July and accused him of trying to start a coup when the fighting between rival groups of soldiers started in Juba.
Machar denied the charge, though he acknowledged he was leading soldiers fighting the government in the days that followed.
The IGAD leaders said peace talks should start by Dec 31 and called for a creation of an "aid corridor" to help badly-needed supplies reach remote areas.
The United Nations, which is sending extra peacekeepers to South Sudan, said about 121,600 people have been displaced during the 13 days of fighting, including 63,000 civilians who had sought refuge in its bases.
Well over 1,000 people have already been killed, according to the head of the U.N. mission in Sudan.
Kenyatta said South Sudan and regional governments had to move quickly to resolve what he called a political problem within the ruling SPLM party which had degenerated into a violent confrontation.
"The present crisis, if not contained, will produce millions of internally displaced persons and refugees and set back this region immeasurably," Kenyatta told the regional leaders.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 under a peace agreement to end decades of war with the Khartoum government in the north. That conflict also saw fighting between southern factions, including one splinter group led by Machar.
(Additional reporting by Carl Odera in Juba; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Three mass graves found in South Sudan

United Nations warns warring factions in South Sudan that reports of mass killings will be investigated, as eyewitnesses speak of wave of brutal ethnic murders and William Hague says situation is 'deteriorating'

12:10PM GMT 24 Dec 2013
A mass grave containing some 75 bodies has been found in South Sudan's Unity State and two other mass graves have been reported in the capital Juba after ethnic violence, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on both sides to protect civilians and warned that political and military leaders could be held to account for crimes.
"Mass extrajudicial killings, the targeting of individuals on the basis of their ethnicity and arbitrary detentions have been documented in recent days," Pillay said in a statement. "We have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves in Juba."
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon also warned warring factions in South Sudan that reports of crimes against humanity would be investigated.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said he deplored the continued violence in South Sudan as he announced a senior diplomat had veen sent to the country to support a political resolution.
FCO Political Director Sir Simon Gass arrived in Juba on Tuesday to support the political process. He will be working closely with Norwegian and US envoys who are also in Juba.
Mr Hague said: "The situation in South Sudan is deteriorating. I am extremely concerned by reports of increasing violence along ethnic lines. The targeting of civilians is unacceptable, as are threats against UN peacekeepers trying to protect them. I call on all South Sudanese leaders to restrain their supporters and resolve political differences peacefully.
“South Sudan was a country born amid hopes of increased peace and prosperity for its people. The gains made over the past two years should not be thrown away.”
President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, his former deputy, have both indicated they were ready to talk to try to end a deepening conflict that has killed hundreds of people since it erupted this month.
Western powers and east African states, anxious to prevent the fighting from destabilising a particularly fragile region, have tried to mediate between Machar, who hails from the Nuer tribe, and Kiir, a Dinka.
Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said that the bodies of 75 soldiers of the Sudan People's Liberation Army were believed to be in the mass grave in Bentiu visited by UN rights officers.
"They are reportedly all of Dinka ethnicity," Shamdasani told Reuters in Geneva, adding that the U.N. team had been unable to verify the numbers or identities.
UN rights officers had not yet been able to visit the sites of two other mass graves, Jebel-Kujur and Newside, near Eden, both in Juba, she said.
Pillay, a former U.N. war crimes judge, voiced deep concern about the safety of those arrested who are being held in unknown locations, including "several hundred civilians who were reportedly arrested during house-to-house searches and from various hotels in Juba". Hundreds of members of the South Sudan National Police Service were allegedly ordered to be disarmed and arrested from police stations across Juba, she said.
Mr Ban has asked the Security Council to nearly double the size of the UN mission in the country, which has been hit by more than a week of escalating battles between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing his rival Riek Machar, a former vice president who was sacked in July.
With fighting ongoing, badly overstretched UN bases in the capital Juba and across the country have been flooded with at least 45,000 civilians, some of whom have recounted an orchestrated campaign of mass killings and rape by government forces.
The official toll is 500 dead, although the real figure is believed to be far higher, aid workers say. Hundreds of thousands of others have fled to the countryside, prompting warnings of an imminent humanitarian disaster.
Fighting has spread to half of the young nation's 10 states, the UN said Tuesday.
Rebel fighters are also reported to have committed atrocities in areas they control, as the oil-rich but impoverished nation, which won independence from Sudan to much fanfare just two years ago, appeared to be sliding deeper into civil war.
"The world is watching all sides in South Sudan," Mr Ban told reporters ahead of emergency Security Council talks on the crisis.
"The United Nations will investigate reports of grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity. Those responsible at the senior level will be held personally accountable and face the consequences - even if they claim they had no knowledge of the attacks," he said.
British, Canadian and Kenyan citizens are among 3,000 foreigners trapped in a South Sudan city experiencing bouts of heavy machine gun fire, one of the most violent areas of the weeklong conflict.
Australians, Ugandans and Ethiopians are also among 17,000 people seeking protection at a UN base in Bor, a city that could see increased violence in coming days, said Toby Lanzer, the UN's humanitarian coordinator.
The UN has about 7,000 peacekeepers and international police in the world's newest nation. One diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to disclose the information to the media, said he expects the secretary-general to request 5,000 additional troops.
Ban said the situation in South Sudan "is of mounting urgency," with tens of thousands of people displaced and about 45,000 seeking protection at UN bases.
He said he would spend most of Monday urging regional leaders to increase military support and "political backing for efforts to defuse the crisis."
In a message to the Sudanese people, the secretary-general said: "The United Nations will stay with you. We will do our utmost to protect you, to provide the humanitarian assistance you need, and most of all to help the country regain the path to peace."
Bor is the city where rebel forces fired on three US military aircraft on Saturday, forcing the Ospreys - advanced helicopter-airplane hybrids - to abort their evacuation mission. On Sunday, the US evacuated Americans by civilian US and UN helicopters.
The US over the last week has evacuated 380 Americans and 300 others from South Sudan, which has seen vicious, ethnically targeted violence pulse through the nation.

South Sudan rebels seize oil wells, mediators urge talks

By Carl Odera and Aaron Maasho 16 hours ago
(Blank Headline Received)
(L-R) Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Kenya's …
By Carl Odera and Aaron Maasho
JUBA (Reuters) - Rebels in South Sudan have seized some oil wells and captured half of the capital of the main oil-producing region, the government and army said on Thursday as African leaders held talks to avert civil war.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met South Sudan's President Salva Kiir in the capital Juba in an attempt to end nearly two weeks of fighting in the world's newest state.
"South Sudan is a young nation that should be spared unnecessary distractions in its development agenda. Take wisdom and stop the loss of innocent lives," Kenyatta said in a statement.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom called the talks "very constructive and very candid". It was not clear whether the delegation also met the rebel leader, former vice president Riek Machar, who was sacked by Kiir in July.
Violence erupted in Juba on December 15 and has quickly spread, dividing the landlocked country of 10.8 million along ethnic lines between the Nuer - Machar's people - and the Dinka, to whom Kiir belongs. The head of the U.N. mission in Sudan said well over 1,000 people had been killed.
Rebels and government troops clashed in Malakal, capital of the major oil-producing state, Upper Nile, for the third day in a row, army spokesman Philip Aguer said.
"They control half of the town and government troops control the other half. They will be defeated soon," Aguer said by telephone. No comment was available from the rebel side.
Petroleum Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said the rebels had captured oil wells in Unity state, where production was shut down earlier this week due to fighting.
"Some oil wells are in the hands of rebel soldiers loyal to former vice president Riek Machar and we fear they may cause damage to the facilities and the environment," Dau told Reuters.
Dau said oil output, which fell by nearly a fifth to 200,000 barrels per day when the Unity state oil fields shut down, had not been affected by clashes in Malakal. Most of South Sudan's oil is pumped in the Upper Nile region.
The United Nations said on Thursday about 58,000 civilians have sought refuge in its compounds across South Sudan.
Kiir and rebel leader Machar say their disagreement is political. But many of the civilians seeking safety in the U.N. bases say ethnic bloodletting has left them paralysed with fear.
Lina Yohanis, a 22-year-old mother of two, said her sister was killed by soldiers who targeted her because she was a Nuer. "They poured fuel on her and burned her," Yohanis told Reuters in a sprawling U.N. compound in Juba.
With tears rolling down her cheeks, she added: "The politics of South Sudan are becoming politics of tribalism."
Earlier in the week, a United Nations human rights body said it had found a mass grave in Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, containing what were believed to be bodies of Dinka soldiers.
The U.N. said it hoped within the next 48 hours to begin receiving critical reinforcements of military hardware and personnel for its overstretched peacekeeping mission.
China, which has significant oil interests in South Sudan, said it would send its special envoy for Africa to help bring about talks between Kiir and Machar.
"China is highly concerned about the evolving situation in South Sudan," Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
Western powers and east African states, keen to prevent more chaos in a fragile region, have not been able to get Kiir to meet Machar, whose whereabouts are unknown. He told Reuters on Monday he was "in the bush".
The U.N. estimates 92,500 people have been displaced during the 12 days of fighting that has sparked the biggest crisis in the country since it gained independence from Sudan in 2011.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Adhanom said regional leaders would meet in Nairobi on Friday to follow up on issues raised during the three-hour talks with Kiir and his cabinet in Juba.
Kenyan President Kenyatta said the conflict was not ethnic-based and the media should stop creating "negative impressions". He also urged Machar and Kiir to meet for talks.
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Maurice Oduor
To: ""
Cc: "" ; Progressive Kenyans ; KOL ; VVM Vuguvugu Mashinani
Sent: Friday, December 27, 2013 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: S. Sudan neighbours back president, urge peace talks

While I may agree with you that generally, in principle, a coup against a government is wrong, we must also realize that there are certain governments that deserve to be thrown out by any means necessary.
Take the Idi Amin government. It deserved to be kicked out. or the Bokassa government in Central African Republic. Or even the Marcos government of the Philipine that had become corrupt beyond measure.
When the Omar Bashir government of Sudan was killing millions of people in the Darfur, I wish someone threw it out.

So it's not clear-cut that a coup is wrong against any government.


On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 3:45 PM, Kuria-Mwangi <> wrote:
You would be expecting if you expected no faults from Judy and others. They are even condemning IGAD for condemning coups. Did they see Uhuru and AU statement on ouster of Mursi when he was overthrown? AU and even Obama condemned coups against democratically elected leaders. So Machar will not get support anywhere for the coup. It does not matter who Kirr is but any coup must be condemned. IGAD can even send troops to help Kirr and will be supported by UN.

Problem with these bloggers is that they have predetermined mind sets and truth come last.
On Friday, December 27, 2013, mohamed warsama wrote:
IT IS absurd for Judy Miriga to demand that Uhuru Kenyatta should have gone to see Riek Machar (Macharia) who is a rebel fighting President Kiir. It simply shows Judy does not understand how diplomacy works. Uhuru and other IGAD leaders must first talk to the Government of President Kiir and get Kiir to agree to a cease-fire. Then IGAD representatives (not Uhuru himself) will talk to Macharia's representatives probably in Addis Ababa and ask them to convey Kiir's agreement to Macharia, wherever he is in SS, so he too can accept a cease-fiire. Then IGAD will fix a meeting date for Kiiir and Macharia to meet with IGAD with Uhuru as Chairman either in Addis or Nairobi. In fact as I write this, Macharia's people are in Addis Ababa talking to IGAD.
Macharia will have to accept the IGAD position which is that he must wait for 2016 presidential elections. The role Uhuru has played in the current crisis in SS and in getting a cease-fire between Kabila regime and M23 in Congo-K shows how important he is becoming to regional peace and security hence another reason for ending those stupid ICC cases which keep Judy Miriga busy in the blogs.

Mohamed Warsama

On Friday, December 27, 2013 10:26 PM, mohamed warsama <> wrote:
WE know that Luos in ODM hate Salva Kiir because of his good ties with Museveni and Uhuru kenyatta. But they are forgetting that even if Riek Machar (Macharia) became President of SSR, he will have no choice but to have good ties with Museveni and Uhuru because his country depends on Mombasa port. So no President of SS can afford to be hostile to Kenya and Uganda.
Having said that, Uhuru has simply stated the position of IGAD on SS, namely IGAD will not accept an overthrow of the present legitimate government of SS. Anyone who wants a change of regime in Juba must wait until the 2016 elections.
Judy Miriga as president of the Council for Africa funded by American taxpayers should first and foremost toe the official line of her American financiers which is in agreement with that of IGAD. She should not bring in petty ODM jealousies into a grave regional crisis. We are fed up with the small-minded thinking prevalent in ODMers on anything done by Jubilee. Nothing is ever right as far as they are concerned.

Mohamed Warsama

On Friday, December 27, 2013 9:55 PM, Maurice Oduor <> wrote:
If Uhuru actually uttered those words then he's not gonna get anywhere. As a mediator, you can not demonize one side no matter how wrong that side is. The key thing is to get them to sit down and talk. I have seen Uhuru sitting with Salvar Kiir but I have not heard of or seen any effort towards meeting with Riek Machar.
Uhuru may mean well, we don't know, but he definitely lacks negotiating skills.

On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 1:15 PM, Judy Miriga <> wrote:
Good People,
As was predicted earlier, as IGAD leader, Uhuru's approach in South Sudan case scenario is a sad state of affair where, in his reconciliatory speech he made, he took sides and made a blatant provocative statement.
IGADAfrican Leaders for Peace talks in South Sudan headed by President Uhuru of Kenya, left a lot to be desired.In my opinion, the IGAD members led by President Uhuru gave an order that sounds like a threat to the group of Riek Machar........instead of striking a cord for reconciliation to both the group of Riek Machar and Salva Kiir ..........the statement from Uhuru sounds more like a fixed mind having taken sides and stand to state their position and to confirm their solid support behind Salva Kiir. In which case, IGAD officials as stated did not come to address the root cause of the problem to strike reconciliatory agreement, but were interested to state their position and to show off and brag about their strength and might in support of Salva Kiir.......This poses a question therefore, is IGAD members on a conspiracy mission to hijack Africas Land by exterminating its people for their greed and those of their Corporate special business interest network??
IGAD membership mission first and foremost therefore, are after "divide and conquer" Africa for the corrupt African Leadership of special business interest and not those of African peoples interest.......
Your take people.......................
Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
Please Take Note on This Quote:
"Let it be known that we in IGAD will not accept the unconstitutional overthrow of a duly and democratically elected government in South Sudan. Violence has never provided optimum solutions," Kenyatta said, according to a statement released by the State House.

S. Sudan neighbours back president, urge peace talks

Friday 27th December 2013 9.30 A.M. .... 2 hours ago
NAIROBI (Reuters) - South Sudan's neighbours threw their weight behind President Salva Kiir on Friday after 13 days of fighting in the world's newest state, saying they would not accept any attempt to overthrow him and his democratically elected government.
Western powers and regional governments fear clashes between government forces and those loyal to Kiir's former deputy could lead to an all-out ethnic-based civil war that would pose a danger to a fragile region with notoriously porous borders.
Addressing regional leaders at an emergency summit on South Sudan held by the east African body Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta urged Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar to seize "the small window of opportunity" and start peace talks.
"Let it be known that

African Leaders Press for Peace in South Sudan

James Akena/Reuters
South Sudanese soldiers on Wednesday in Bor, which the army retook after it fell to rebels. Violence continues to grip the country.
Published: December 26, 2013
JUBA, South Sudan — As clashes between government troops and rebels continued in South Sudan on Thursday, diplomats moved swiftly to drag the warring sides to the negotiating table but announced none of the breakthroughs they had hoped for.
The New York Times
Kenyan Presidential Press Service, via Associated Press
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn arrive for a meeting with South Sudanese President President Salva Kiir in Juba, South Sudan, on Thursday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia arrived on Thursday in South Sudan for talks with President Salva Kiir, pressing for a political solution to the fighting that has engulfed this young nation for more than a week.
Diplomats from Africa, Europe and the United States have urgently called for the two sides in the crisis to begin negotiations before the violence escalates into an all-out civil war. Officials called the closed-door discussion with Mr. Kiir and the two regional leaders on Thursday constructive, but the hoped-for result — a plan to begin formal talks between the two sides — was not announced after the session, which lasted hours.
Even as the meeting took place, a spokesman for the South Sudanese military, Col. Philip Aguer, said that government forces were waging a pitched battle against rebels in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State, with the government controlling the city’s north and the rebels the south.
The crisis in South Sudan began last week after what Mr. Kiir described as a coup attempt by soldiers loyal to the former vice president, Riek Machar. Mr. Kiir dismissed Mr. Machar and the entire cabinet in July. Mr. Machar remains in an undisclosed location after fleeing the capital. Many of his allies were arrested, and he has said their release is a precondition for starting talks, a position Mr. Kiir has rejected.
But the political dispute has spiraled into a broader humanitarian crisis. The United Nations special representative to South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, said in a videoconference from the capital here on Thursday that well over 1,000 lives had already been lost in the conflict. More than 50,000 people are seeking refuge at United Nations compounds across the country. The peacekeeping force is overstretched trying to protect them, she said, adding that she expected reinforcements of personnel and equipment within 48 hours.
Ms. Johnson said the United Nations did not see the conflict coming. “We knew that there were tensions and that this could lead to problems, but I don’t think any South Sudanese, nor any of us observers, in country or outside, expected an unraveling of the stability so quickly,” she said.
The dispute stems from a power struggle between grudging collaborators turned outright rivals, but the violence quickly shifted into attacks against civilians and reprisals between ethnic groups. Mr. Kiir is a Dinka, the country’s largest ethnic group, while Mr. Machar is a Nuer, its second largest. South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war.
While an uneasy calm prevailed in Juba on Thursday, some fighting continued in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State that is home to a United Nations base where an estimated 17,000 people have sought refuge, Ms. Johnson said. Heavier fighting centered in the oil-producing states of Unity and Upper Nile, disrupting production as foreign oil workers have fled.
Toby Lanzer, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, said one civilian died and six others on the United Nations base in Malakal were wounded on Thursday in the heavy crossfire from the battles there. The United Nations hospital has already treated more than 95 people wounded by gunfire.
“It’s a very bad situation there right now,” Mr. Lanzer said. “The two sides are really vying for who can control strategic locations in and around the city.”
Teresa Gabriel fled to the United Nations compound in Malakal on Tuesday with her mother, sister and four children. When she came to the compound, she said, she saw looting, fires and wounded people. She said the people taking refuge there were from a mix of ethnic groups, Dinka, Nuer and others.
The fighting made it difficult to get aid into the city. The airport in Malakal was closed on Thursday because of the violence. The humanitarian situation in the compound is difficult, Ms. Gabriel explained. “There is no food, no water, and the bathrooms are really bad.”
But she said it was better than being outside the compound. “We could hear the gunfire coming from the town,” Ms. Gabriel said.
Nicholas Kulish reported from Juba, and Isma’il Kushkush from Khartoum, Sudan.
A version of this article appears in print on December 27, 2013, on page A6 of

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