South Sudan General Killed in Ambush; Pressure on U.N. to Inform Fleeing Civilians

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South Sudanese general killed in ambush A South Sudanese general was killed in an ambush just outside of the rebel-held town of Bor Sunday just hours before the warring parties were prepared to attempt to reach a ceasefire agreement.

Meanwhile, there is pressure on the United Nations to better inform citizens in South Sudan as thousands of people are fleeing the country.

It has been less than a month since supporters of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and supporters of the rebel leader who once served as vice president, Riek Machar, faced off against one another.

Both parties involved in conflicts that appear to be evolving into a civil war are meeting in Ethiopia later today and hope to negotiate a ceasefire, but those negotiations came too late for one South Sudanese general.

South Sudanese forces were under extremely heavy gunfire during Sunday’s ambush and added an undisclosed number of deaths to the already constantly rising death toll.

The fighting has already resulted in more than 1,000 deaths since mid-December and about 2,000 displacements.

In addition to the fear of more violent battles and adding even more numbers to the death toll, there is also an increasing fear for the safety of civilians who are trying to flee without being properly informed about the dangers of doing so.

In some cases, it may actually be safer and more beneficial to the mission of peace if South Sudanese civilians stayed put.

The Sudan Tribune explained that those who are fleeing the country may encounter “severe dangers, deprivation and death.”

Civilians fleeing from South Sudan The displaced population is growing rapidly  and Chief UN Humanitarian Official Toby Lanzer believes the number of displaced Sudanese could grow from 2,000 to up to 400,000 soon.

Lanzer also pointed out that with such a large number of civilians fleeing, it may become increasingly difficult for them to be provided with humanitarian services.

There is a great need for the UN to step in and give a better depiction of what is really going on between the warring parties.

For example, one of Machar’s senior commanders, Brigadier General Khor Chol, publicly declares that Juba will fall very soon, but the UN has yet to explain whether or not there is any validity to that claim.

This has forced another string of displacements in a situation that may not actually be as dire as Machar and his general wants opposing forces to believe.

Lanzer also said that it is important that more non-biased reporting is available for the citizens who are basing their decisions on whether or not they should flee on the news that is available to them.

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