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un troops returning to only base in rebel-held south sudan


akobo, south sudan (ap) — united nations peacekeepers are returning to the only u.n. base in south sudan “clearly” in an area under opposition control as residents hope for protection from what they call growing attacks by government troops.“we’ve had several requests to be there” in akobo, u.n. mission chief david shearer told the associated press, calling the gap in services there significant. the first peacekeepers are expected to arrive in the next few weeks.this will be the first u.n. peacekeeper presence in akobo since 2013, when the base of 43 troops was abandoned after armed men stormed the compound and killed three indian peacekeepers.situated near the ethiopian border, the bustling town is one of south sudan’s last opposition strongholds and has become a refuge for thousands of e






south sudan's civil war rages, bringing complaints of abuses


juba, south sudan — south sudan's army is steadily capturing more rebel-held territory, even as peace talks try to find a resolution to the country's nearly four-year-old civil war.as the army gains ground, complaints are growing that both sides are committing atrocities against civilians.the associated press recently spoke with eight rebel soldiers who had been on the front lines in a rebel-held area and all recounted similar events: government forces gang-raping women, burning houses with people inside and killing children.inconclusive peace talks were held in the capital, juba in october. the negotiations are scheduled to resume in december and by that time opposition forces probably will have lost more territory, experts say.in the last six months, despite president salva kiir's declar






fighting in south sudan's raga kills at least 14 people | south sudan news


at least 14 people have been killed in south sudan after new fighting erupted between government forces and the main rebel group.lam paul gabriel lam, the splm-io rebel group's spokesman, told reuters news agency on saturday during the last two days the army has bombed rebel-held areas around raga - a northwestern town near the border with sudan and central african republic."yesterday our forces decided to go and raid raga," he said. "around 14 people were counted killed but many are injured. we had one soldier killed with some injuries."south sudan violence forcing thousands to flee to ugandasanto domic chol, the government's military spokesman, said he was in raga and would provide information later on.the united nations, which has a large peacekeeping force in the east african nation, c






south sudan's troops said to advance on rebel stronghold


juba, south sudan — thousands of south sudanese have been displaced and aid workers evacuated as rebels on saturday accused government troops of advancing on their stronghold and killing civilians along the way.opposition spokesman william gatjiath deng told the associated press that government troops have stepped up attacks in the past week in mathiang in longochuck county. the rebels have kept the troops from entering the rebel stronghold of pagak but the fighting is getting worse, he said."the government is killing civilians, they're burning down houses," deng said.the reports of an offensive come as south sudan prepares to mark its sixth anniversary of independence on sunday.south sudan's military denied the rebels' accusations, saying there were no scheduled military operations in the






journalist christopher allen killed in s sudan fighting | south sudan news


at least 19 people have been killed in south sudan, including an american freelance journalist, after fighting broke out between government troops and rebel forces in the southern part of the country, rebel leaders and the military said.christopher allen, who worked with various news outlets, including al jazeera in the past, was killed in heavy fighting in the town of kaya in yei river state on saturday. "on the ground, about 16 [bodies] have been found around the defensive position of the spla including this white man," military spokesman santo domic chol told reuters news agency, referring to the spla national army.three government soldiers were also killed, he said. read more: the work of christopher allen rebel forces identified the man found as allen, who had embedded with them for t






south sudan: people queue for food cards and vaccination


aid has started to reach some of the 100,000 people affected by famine in parts of south sudan. three years of civil war have driven families into the marshes of the nile to hide from the fighting, and the un and other agencies have been struggling to get access to deliver food. bbc africa correspondent alastair leithead travelled to the rebel-held town thonyor in leer county - where people have been told to gather to get help.south sudan declares famine in unity statesouth sudan profile - timeline






south sudan rebels say troops kill 14 civilians in raga town


entebbe, uganda — south sudan's armed opposition is accusing government troops of attacking the northwestern town of raga and killing 14 civilians.opposition spokesman lam paul gabriel says troops attacked the town late saturday morning.spokesmen for south sudan's government and military could not immediately be reached for comment.the fighting comes after residents of the western town of wau reported ethnically targeted attacks on monday, with the u.n. mission in south sudan saying its workers had seen the bodies of 16 civilians.south sudan's three-year civil war has grown more intense in recent weeks. u.n. officials repeatedly have warned of the risk of genocide.the acting envoy of the u.n. secretary-general, moustapha soumare, says both sides must show restraint and protect all south su






south sudan rebels release 3 abducted foreign oil workers


juba, south sudan — south sudanese rebels say they have released three oil workers — two indians and a pakistani — after they were abducted and held for three weeks amid the country's civil war.a statement by rebel leader riek machar says the men were released and the indian and pakistani embassies were notified.india's ambassador to south sudan, srikumar menon, told the associated press on friday that "it's a big relief that it's over."the three men released thursday were subcontractors for dar petroleum, a consortium of oil exploration and production companies based in south sudan's capital, juba. it was not clear why they were kidnapped in the upper nile region.the two indian nationals have been taken to the capital of neighboring sudan and are said to be unharmed.






south sudan army denies charges its troops killed 14 in raga


juba, south sudan — south sudan's army denies charges that its forces killed 14 civilians in the northwestern town of raga.col. santo domic chlo, acting spokesman of the army, said the report from south sudan's opposition is a lie.opposition spokesman lam paul gabriel said troops attacked the town late saturday morning.the report of fighting in raga comes after residents of the western town of wau reported ethnically targeted attacks last week, with the u.n. mission in south sudan saying its workers had seen the bodies of 16 civilians.south sudan's three-year civil war has grown more intense in recent weeks. u.n. officials repeatedly have warned of the risk of genocide.the acting envoy of the u.n. secretary-general, moustapha soumare, urged both sides to show restraint and protect all sout






there are no clear winners in south sudan's war | south sudan


kajo keji country, south sudan -  with their faces and clothes caked in dust after a long, gruelling bus journey, we are greeted by dozens of hungry and tired-looking rebels at a camp near the south sudan-uganda border.carrying ak-47 assault rifles, machetes, grenade launchers and even bows and arrows, the rebels, who have been brought in as reinforcements, have no time to rest and quickly prepare for the front lines.who's to blame for south sudan's civil war? - upfronttheir commanders are uncomfortable that government troops are only 15km away.the rebels belong to the sudan people's liberation movement-in-opposition (splm-io) group, the country's main rebel group, who are fighting against government soldiers, also known as the sudan people's liberation army (spla).the spla is historically






syrian troops approaching rebel-held air base in the north


beirut (ap) — syria’s state media say government forces and their allies are approaching a sprawling rebel-held air base in the northwestern province of idlib from different directions.recapturing the abu zuhour air base, which the rebels took in 2015, has been one of the main targets of a major government offensive into idlib that began in late october. the attack also aims to secure the road liking the capital, damascus, with the northern city of aleppo, syria’s largest.the government-controlled syrian central military media said on wednesday that syrian troops are fighting militants, including members of al-qaida-linked levant liberation committee, in different areas near abu zuhour.the government offensive has displaced tens of thousands of people who fled toward areas close to the tur






three aid workers killed in restive south sudan | south sudan news


the world food programme said on friday it was "horrified" to learn that three of its south sudanese workers were killed in violence that claimed at least 16 lives earlier this week.south sudan violence forcing thousands to flee to ugandathe three men, contracted as porters, appear to have been killed while trying to get to a wfp warehouse amid fighting between rebel and government troops near the western city of wau.two were hacked to death with machetes and one was shot dead, the un agency said.south sudan, which split from sudan in 2011, has been mired in a crisis since a power struggle between president salva kiir and his former deputy riek machar escalated into a military conflict in 2013.joyce luma, the wfp country director, said: "we are outraged and heartbroken by the deaths of our






syria: government troops retake key town in rebel province


beirut — syrian television says the country's military has recaptured a strategically important town in the northwestern province of idlib in its latest advance into rebel-held territory this year.the state-affiliated al-ikhbariya tv says government forces took sinjar on sunday.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights monitoring group says the gain "opens the road" for the government troops to march on the rebel-held abu zuhour air base about 19 kilometers, or 12 miles, to the north.the military has assigned one of its top commanders to lead the offensive into idlib, the last major stronghold for rebels in northern syria. the u.n. says more than 2.5 million people are currently living in idlib, including more than 1 million displaced by fighting from other parts the syria.






npr reporter freed in south sudan after 3 nights in jail


nairobi, kenya — a journalist for the npr has been released by south sudan's government which held him for nearly four days, according to a spokeswoman for the organization.eyder peralta was held for three nights and released on monday, isabel lara, a spokeswoman for npr told the associated press in an email. peralta has returned to his base in kenya.peralta's south sudanese assistant is still being held by authorities. "the fixer remains in custody and we are in touch with authorities regarding his release," said the npr spokeswoman.south sudan officials did not respond for requests for comment.peralta's detention was the latest in a crackdown on foreign journalists in south sudan, the east african nation which gained independence in 2011 but has experienced renewed civil war. at least 13






there are no clear winners in south sudan's war |


kajo keji country, south sudan -  with their faces and clothes caked in dust after a long and gruelling bus journey, we're greeted by dozens of hungry and tired-looking rebels at a camp near the south sudan-uganda border.carrying ak-47 assault rifles, machetes, grenade launchers and even bows and arrows, the rebels, who have been brought in as reinforcements, have no time to rest and quickly prepare for the front lines.who's to blame for south sudan's civil war? - upfronttheir commanders are uncomfortable that government troops are only 15km away.the rebels belong to the sudan people's liberation movement-in-opposition (splm-io) group, the country's main rebel group, who are fighting against government soldiers, also known as the sudan people's liberation army (spla).the spla is historical






rape reaches 'epic proportions' in south sudan's civil war


mundri, south sudan — after months of being raped by her rebel captors in the middle of south sudan's civil war, the young woman became pregnant. held in a muddy pit, sometimes chained to other prisoners, she later watched her hair fall out and her weight plummet. but the child was a spark of life.and so she named him barack obama, she explains, now free. "i still have hope," she says, caressing the baby's cheek with a finger. "i just don't even know where to start."the slender 23-year-old is one of thousands of rape victims in south sudan's three-year-old conflict, which has created one of the world's largest humanitarian crises. sexual violence has reached "epic proportions," says the u.n. commission on human rights in south sudan.reported incidents of sexual or gender-based violence ros






syrian forces recapture military base from rebels | news


the syrian army has reclaimed a military site on the outskirts of the country's capital, damascus, from rebel forces, according to the syrian observatory for human rights (sohr).government troops "managed to open a road" on sunday to the military vehicles administration base in the city of harasta, in the eastern ghouta district, freeing some 200 troops trapped inside the compound, the british-based monitor said.the government forces had been besieged by rebel fighters from the ahrar al-sham group and al-rahman corps since an offensive on december 31, during which anti-government forces expanded their control over the site.some 160 pro-government and rebel fighters have been killed in fighting over the base since december 31, according to sohr.rebel forces stormed the site in november 2017






rape reaches ‘epic proportions’ in south sudan’s civil war


mundri, south sudan (ap) — after months of being raped by her rebel captors in the middle of south sudan’s civil war, the young woman became pregnant. held in a muddy pit, sometimes chained to other prisoners, she later watched her hair fall out and her weight plummet. but the child was a spark of life.and so she named him barack obama, she explains, now free. “i still have hope,” she says, caressing the baby’s cheek with a finger. “i just don’t even know where to start.”the slender 23-year-old is one of thousands of rape victims in south sudan’s three-year-old conflict, which has created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. sexual violence has reached “epic proportions,” says the u.n. commission on human rights in south sudan.reported incidents of sexual or gender-based violenc






syria: government troops retake key town in rebel province


beirut (ap) — syrian television says the country’s military has recaptured a strategically important town in the northwestern province of idlib in its latest advance into rebel-held territory this year.the state-affiliated al-ikhbariya tv says government forces took sinjar on sunday.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights monitoring group says the gain “opens the road” for the government troops to march on the rebel-held abu zuhour air base about 19 kilometers, or 12 miles, to the north.the military has assigned one of its top commanders to lead the offensive into idlib, the last major stronghold for rebels in northern syria. the u.n. says more than 2.5 million people are currently living in idlib, including more than 1 million displaced by fighting from other parts the syria






un considers new base in south sudan's troubled yei region


yei, south sudan — the united nations says it is considering putting a peacekeeping base in south sudan's troubled yei region, the first such expansion since civil war began in 2013.the peacekeeping mission's chief says yei has "gone through a nightmare" in recent months. david shearer visited the city thursday.stories of rape, killings and abductions are common, while both government and opposition forces have restricted access to food and aid.since fighting reached the city a year ago, 70 percent of the population has fled. remaining residents say it's like living in a prison. yei is under government control but surrounded by opposition forces.the u.n. says a base will come to yei only if local movements are unrestricted. government officials have promised better access.the u.n. has seve






npr reporter freed in south sudan after 3 nights in jail


nairobi, kenya (ap) — a journalist for the npr has been released by south sudan’s government which held him for nearly four days, according to a spokeswoman for the organization.eyder peralta was held for three nights and released on monday, isabel lara, a spokeswoman for npr told the associated press in an email. peralta has returned to his base in kenya.peralta’s south sudanese assistant is still being held by authorities. “the fixer remains in custody and we are in touch with authorities regarding his release,” said the npr spokeswoman.south sudan officials did not respond for requests for comment.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.peralta’s detention was the latest in a crackdown on foreign journalists in south sudan, the east african nation which gained independ






south sudan says no hint that dead american was a journalist


juba, south sudan — there was no indication that an american shot dead over the weekend was a journalist, south sudan's army said tuesday, accusing him of entering the country with rebel forces."anybody who comes attacking us with hostile forces will meet his fate," army spokesman lul ruai koang said, warning that any journalists entering the civil war-torn east african nation illegally will not be protected.the 28-year-old christopher allen, a freelance journalist, was killed saturday amid fighting between government and rebel forces near the ugandan border. his body was handed over to the u.s. embassy on tuesday.government troops "targeted" allen when they saw him taking photos during the fighting, opposition spokesman william gatjiath deng said. the opposition says allen was wearing a l






syrian troops capture 14 villages from rebels


beirut — syrian government forces captured 14 villages on monday as they advance on the largest rebel-held enclave in the country's north amid a wave of airstrikes.syrian government forces and their allies have been on the offensive since late october in hama and idlib provinces, capturing nearly 100 villages from insurgent groups, including the al-qaida-linked levant liberation committee. the offensive intensified on christmas day after reinforcements were brought in from other parts of syria.the main aim of the troops is to reach the rebel-held abu zuhour air base and secure the road linking the capital, damascus, with the northern city of aleppo, syria's largest. rebels captured abu zuhour in 2015 after a three-year siege.the government-controlled syrian central military media said the






south sudan army denies charges its troops killed 14 in raga


juba, south sudan — south sudan's army denies charges that its forces killed 14 civilians in the northwestern town of raga."this is a negative media campaign by the rebels. we didn't kill anybody, we're there to protect the citizens," said col. santo domic chlo, acting spokesman of the army. "we cannot kill citizens who we are responsible for their security. it's a complete lie."opposition spokesman lam paul gabriel said army troops attacked raga late saturday morning.the report of fighting in raga comes after residents of the western town of wau reported ethnically targeted attacks last week, with the u.n. mission in south sudan saying its workers had seen the bodies of 16 civilians.south sudan's three-year civil war has grown more intense in recent weeks. u.n. officials repeatedly have w






us troops killed fighting isis in afghanistan nangarhar province


fighting famine in war-torn south sudan in south sudan, 5m people don't know where their next meal is coming from and, of them, 100,000 are starving and face death. if not for humanitarian efforts, millions could die






a woman's burden in war-torn south sudan | south sudan


chahari, south sudan - the dull thud of a coconut being thrown against a flat stone summons the children around the low straw-thatched mud tukul, a traditional round house in eastern africa. nadia* pulls the orange pulp out of the fruit where the rind has cracked, breaking it up among many tiny hands."one person was shot dead in front of me, so i had to jump over his body," she says, describing her escape from the town of ikotos, in the imatong state of south sudan.tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 3.5 million have been displaced since south sudan descended into war shortly after it seceded from sudan in 2011. starting in december 2013, president salva kiir's troops have clashed with those of rebel leader and former vice president riek machar. a peace accord signed






philippine troops kill militants, seize jungle camp in south


manila, philippines — the philippine military says troops backed by aircraft have captured a jungle camp belonging to an extremist band allied with the islamic state group and killed several militants in the country' south.regional military spokesman lt. col. jo-ar herrera said an army general raised the philippine flag monday in the camp of the maute armed group near piagapo town in lanao del sur province a few hours after troops occupied the rebel base.herrera said at least three bodies of militants were recovered by troops in the camp, which had tents, bunkers and trenches, although intelligence indicated as many as 36 militants were killed in three days of intense fighting. three soldiers were wounded.troops found homemade bombs, grenades, combat uniforms and passports of suspected ind






no one detained over south sudan civilian killings, un says


nairobi, kenya — the united nations' top human rights official in south sudan says no one has been detained in connection with recent killings of civilians in the western town of wau.eugene nindorera in a statement sunday says he was "shaken" to hear testimonies of victims of the government offensive that killed at least 16 people and displaced more than 23,000. residents said soldiers singled out civilians of the fertit and luo ethnic groups in retaliation for a rebel attack on government forces.nindorera says the continued impunity is one of the biggest challenges to stopping violence in south sudan's civil war, which has entered its fourth year.the african union and south sudan's government have long promised to create a hybrid court to try leaders for war crimes.






1st units of south sudan protection force arrive soon: un


juba, south sudan — the first units of a long-delayed regional protection force for south sudan will deploy within a few weeks, the u.n. peacekeeping chief said tuesday.herve ladsous spoke during a visit to south sudan's capital, juba. "we'll spare no effort to speed up the process," he said.the u.n. security council last year approved an additional 4,000 peacekeepers to help protect civilians after a series of reported gang-rapes and other assaults when fighting erupted in juba in july.but south sudan's government had pushed back against the force amid some officials' belief that the international community was interfering in the country's affairs.south sudan has been devastated by a three-year civil war that has killed tens of thousands and contributed to a recently declared famine in tw






world food program ‘horrified’ as south sudan workers killed


juba, south sudan (ap) — the world food program said friday it is “horrified” to learn that three of its south sudan workers were killed this week in violence in the western town of wau, as the country’s civil war continues under warnings of possible genocide.a statement from the u.n. agency said the three men had been contracted to work as porters and appear to have been killed monday on their way to a wfp warehouse.“two died of machete wounds and the third was shot,” the statement said. it did not give any details about the attackers.wfp country director joyce luma said she is “outraged,” and she called on south sudanese authorities to hold the attackers accountable.most read stories3-course dinners for $32 starting april 2.wau residents on monday described to the associated press target






world food program 'horrified' as south sudan workers killed


juba, south sudan — the world food program said friday it is "horrified" to learn that three of its south sudan workers were killed this week in violence in the western town of wau, as the country's civil war continues under warnings of possible genocide.a statement from the u.n. agency said the three men had been contracted to work as porters and appear to have been killed monday on their way to a wfp warehouse."two died of machete wounds and the third was shot," the statement said. it did not give any details about the attackers.wfp country director joyce luma said she is "outraged," and she called on south sudanese authorities to hold the attackers accountable.wau residents on monday described to the associated press targeted ethnic killings by government soldiers that spread panic thro






new report blames south sudan military for civilian deaths


aburoc, south sudan — albin koolekheh watched his 4-year-old son die in his arms. he and his family were among tens of thousands of people who escaped a wave of fighting in south sudan's civil war, only to find themselves living in a filthy camp near the border with sudan.a new report by amnesty international says south sudanese forces burned, shelled and ransacked homes between january and may, killing civilians and forcing thousands like koolekheh from the shilluk ethnic minority to flee."even considering south sudan's history of ethnic hostility," the mass displacement was shocking, the report says.as south sudan faces its fourth year of civil war, the fighting shows no signs of ending. both government and opposition forces have been accused of war crimes including mass rape and targete






new report blames south sudan military for civilian deaths


aburoc, south sudan (ap) — albin koolekheh watched his 4-year-old son die in his arms. he and his family were among tens of thousands of people who escaped a wave of fighting in south sudan’s civil war, only to find themselves living in a filthy camp near the border with sudan.a new report by amnesty international says south sudanese forces burned, shelled and ransacked homes between january and may, killing civilians and forcing thousands like koolekheh from the shilluk ethnic minority to flee.“even considering south sudan’s history of ethnic hostility,” the mass displacement was shocking, the report says.as south sudan faces its fourth year of civil war, the fighting shows no signs of ending. both government and opposition forces have been accused of war crimes including mass rape and ta






children bearing the brunt of south sudan refugee crisis | south sudan


ngomoromo, uganda - what stands out most when you visit the ngomoromo transit camp for south sudan refugees in northern uganda is the number of children.they are all from south sudan's town of pajok where clashes broke out last week between government forces and fighters from splm/a-io, the main armed opposition rebel group.it's natural for children, even in the midst of misery, to play. but none of the children in the camp - not even the very little ones, were interested in any games.instead, they were huddled together with their families under trees in a camp that is their home for now.when we got there, some were still wearing their school uniform. more than 580 of them were separated from their parents.dusty and tired, 16-year-old agnes had just arrived when we met her. she told us she






japan to end 5-year peacekeeping mission in south sudan


tokyo — japan is ending its peacekeeping mission in troubled south sudan after five years, prime minister shinzo abe announced friday.abe said japan would not renew the mission after the current rotation returns in may. the 350-person team has focused on road construction.the team, which arrived in south sudan in november, was japan's first to have an expanded mandate to use force if necessary to protect civilians and u.n. staff. the japanese military's use of force is limited by its post-world war ii constitution.abe said japan would continue to assist south sudan in other ways such as with food and humanitarian support, and will keep some personnel at the u.n. peacekeeping command office."as south sudan enters a new phase of nation-building, we have decided that we can now put an end to






south sudan famine: eating water lilies to survive | south sudan news


thousands of people at the epicentre of a man-made famine in south sudan emerged from the safety of the swamps this past weekend hoping to receive emergency deliveries of food.south sudan famine: thousands in desperate need of aidfor months now, bol mol, a 45-year-old former oil field security officer, has struggled to keep his family alive, spearfishing in nearby rivers and marshes while his three wives gather water lilies for food.they eat once a day if they are lucky, but at least in the swamps, they are safe from marauding soldiers."life here is useless," mol said, his hand clutching his walking stick as he waited with thousands of others beneath the baking-hot sun at thonyor in leer county.aid agencies have negotiated with the government and rebel forces to establish a registration ce






facebook plans to be more like youtube than netflix as it pays for video


“we’re focusing more on shorter form content to start” facebook ceo mark zuckerberg said on today’s q4 earnings call, where he was repeatedly questioned about facebook’s video strategy. one thing’s clear, facebook will invest heavily. “i see video as a mega trend,” said zuckerberg.facebook will both pay video makers up front and through ad revenue sharing to get their content into its news feed and video tab. despite reports that it’s been in talks with tv studios and is building a set-top tv box, facebook isn’t going to immediately dive into funding a ton of tv shows and movies. zuckerberg noted, “over the longer term…people will experiment with longer forms of video as well as all kinds of different things.” but quick, snackable clips are “the primary focus for the foreseeable future.”es