South Sudan Boat Disaster: Scores of People Die in a Terrific Boat Disaster in South Sudan / Breaking News

south sudan boat disaster

The army spokesman in South Sudan has confirmed that more than 250 people crossing the Nile as a result of the unrest in the country have been drowned in the Nile River.

He said ferry they were using to cross the Nile from the town of Malakal which is the capital of the Upper Nile State capsized on the Nile as they attempted to cross the river on late Monday.

South Sudan’s Upper Nile State’s Information Minister, Philip Jiben also confirmed the incident and put the number of people dead at 255 while saying two children were saved.

Mr. Jiben said the victims were fleeing an alleged attack by forces loyal to the sacked deputy President, Riek Machar in the town.

The boat was carrying those people who tended to flee from Malakal town after incorrect news were circulated that Machar’s forces were attacking the town, the boat drowned with about 255 people on board, only two children have been rescued’’, Mr. Jiben said.

He said the situation in Malakal is calm, refuting media reports that Machar forces had attacked Malakal and seized some parts of it.

“No attack was launched against Malakal, the town is completely calm and life is progressing naturally, there is no any fighting at any part of the town,’’ he added.

South Sudan has witnessed deadly clashes between two military factions, one descending from the Dinka tribe, to which South Sudan President Salva Mayardit belongs, and the other descending from the Nuer tribe, to which Riek Machar belongs. The fighting started on December 15 2013.

All effort by the international community to end the fighting has yielded no positive results as both sides have come to a stalemate in negotiations in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The two sides have been negotiating in Addis Ababa under the patronage of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD).

The rebels’ leader Machar insists on the release of 11 political and military detainees who have been accused of planning an alleged military coup against South Sudan government.

But the government insists that it would not release them until the investigations with them are over making the peace process very difficult.

Meanwhile, the United States has hinted that it would move soon to impose sanctions on South Sudan if immediate steps are not taken at the dialogue table to end the conflict which has claimed many lives and rendered others homeless.

Both President Kiir and Mr. Machar were part of the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) which fought for independence from Sudan but relation between the two worsen in less than 2 years of independence from Sudan.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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