South Sudan: Gunmen Open Fire on Civilians at UN Base

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Gunmen in South Sudan opened fire on civilians at a UN base on Wednesday, according to reports from locals.

Gunfire broke out at the UN base in Malakal, which shelters internally displaced persons (IDPs) on Wednesday night, carrying on through to Thursday, some reports have said.

 

At least 7 killed, dozens injured

One local resident told AFP that seven people were killed in the attack and many more injured.

“They killed seven people and injured 32 people, including a young boy whose father was also killed,” Jacob Nhial told the news publication. “They used Kalashnikovs and machine guns… the situation is still tense, people are hiding,” he added.

The base in Malakal is home to more than 47,500 people who have fled their hometowns to escape violence in the war-torn country. Roughly 200,000 civilians in South Sudan have moved to seek refuge in UN bases across the country since civil war broke out in 2013.

 

South Sudan still awaiting peace

Earlier this month South Sudan’s President Kiir announced bitter rival Riek Machar would make a return to his former vice-president role, prompting hopes that conflict would soon end in the country.

However, the rebel leader is yet to return to South Sudan and take up his role. Meanwhile, fighting between various militias in the country continues and there are concerns the civil war’s supposed leaders may not have the control needed over various forces to bring violence to an end.

The UN has previously said attacks on its bases in South Sudan could qualify as a war crime. However, the international security council is yet to make an official announcement on this latest attack.

In April 2014, gunmen killed 48 people when they opened fire on civilians at a UN base in the town of Bor. Ten attackers were also killed in the attack after UN troops fought back.

 

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