AROUND AFRICA: South Sudan, Central African Republic, Tunisia
Ugandan authorities are struggling with the increasing number of people fleeing the continued fighting in neighboring South Sudan, the BBC reports.
More than 20,000 South Sudanese are now crammed into a refugee camp meant to hold 400. And the numbers keep growing as more than 2,000 arrive every day. Food is inadequate, there is no shelter and hardly any water. The BBC’sthe camp’s health centre is overflowing with pregnant women, children and the elderly.
There are also reports of ethnic fighting between the Dinka and the Nuer at the camp which is only a transit centre, so authorities cannot separate the warring ethnic groups yet.
Meanwhile, South Sudan’s army is advancing on the key rebel-held centres of Bentiu and Bor, as rebels strengthen defences in Bentiu. Reports say hundreds have fled violence in Bor and at least 1,000 people have been killed in fighting since December 15.
Thousands have fled Bentiu, capital of oil-rich Unity state. The city was said to be a ghost town with even the hospital reportedly deserted, the Guardian said.
And in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, peace talks between the rival South Sudanese factions appear deadlocked, the Voice of America reported Thursday (January 9). The stumbling block appears to be the issue of political detainees, on which neither side will budge.
The fighting began as a power struggle between South Sudan’s President Kiir and his chief rival, former vice president Riek Machar. The violence began in Juba, the capital city, on December 15 and has since spread to other parts of the country, pitting rival divisions of the armed forces and allied militias against one another, according to the VoA.
Political prisoners, who were detained by the government in the first days of the crisis, were accused of plotting a coup. The opposition has insisted that the detainees – who include Machar’s political allies – be released before agreeing to a cessation of hostilities.
Central African Republic
The entire transitional assembly of the Central African Republic (CAR) has flown to Chad to attend a summit aimed at restoring peace in the country, the BBC reports. Regional leaders said the 135 member-assembly had been summoned because only they could decide the fate of their country.
The CAR’s interim leader, Michel Djotodia, is facing pressure to step down at a summit of regional leaders on Thursday because of his inability to halt the bloodshed that has forced about a million people to flee their homes, according to The Guardian.
Djotodia, who seized power in March at the head of the Seleka rebels, already lacked legitimacy in the eyes of other African governments. But he is considered an even greater liability as the country has descended into chaos amid reprisal attacks from mainly Christian militias against the largely Muslim rebel group. However, the VoA says Djotodia’s spokesman insists he will not resign.
The fighting in the CAR is neither a jihad nor a crusade, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The battle is over political power and the capital city of Bangui is the prize.
Tunisia’s Islamist prime minister resigned Thursday (January 9). The action by Ali Larayedh of the Ennahda Party, ends the two-year-old rule of his party, which has dominated the country’s political scene since the popular uprising that initiated the Arab Spring, the New York Times reported.
The resignation makes way for an interim government of independents under a plan to end months of political deadlock and mounting social unrest, the state news agency said, according to Aljazeera America.
Entry filed under: Africa, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, International Relief, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Peacekeeping, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: Africa, Arab Spring, Central African Republic, Chad, Counter Insurgency, counter terrorism, Ethiopia, nation building, South Sudan, Topics, Tunisia, Uganda.