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Friday, May 29th, 2015

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South Sudan Hunger crisis to get worse: UN

Juba, May 27, 2015 (SSNA) -- The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that hunger crisis in South Sudan will get worse, unless a peace deal to end the ongoing conflict is reached.

The world body raises the alarm as the number of displaced South Sudanese rises to a new high.

“Millions of people in South Sudan are trapped by a terrible mix of brutal conflict, rising hunger and a deepening economic crisis. The needs are overwhelming at a time when resources are short,” World Food Programme’s head in South Sudan, Joyce Luma, said.

Meanwhile, the United Nations children's fund representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch, supports the WFP call, saying the lives of women and children are in great danger because they have no other means to support themselves due to the war.

“The lives of vulnerable women and children - who have exhausted all coping mechanisms available to them - are on the line,” Jonathan Veitch said in a statement.

Millions of people have fled their homes and hundreds of thousands more fled to the neighboring countries.

Johnson Olony’s defection caused “dirty infighting” among top government officials: Source

Juba, May 19, 2015 (SSNA) -- Differences among top government officials in Juba emerged soon after the Upper Nile State-based powerful militia Commander Johnson Olony told President Salva Kiir, SPLA Chief of General Staff Paul Malong, and Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk that their demand for him to go to Juba for a peaceful dialogue “smells like Paul Malong’s suitcase,” a confidential source with full knowledge of squabble told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in Juba.

The source revealed to the SSNA that the three leaders have been holding meetings for weeks to try to convince Olony to stay loyal to the government. The source also added that Kiir and Kuol were furious and constantly blamed Paul Malong for Olony’s desertion. The two leaders also demanded clarification from Malong.

Meanwhile, Malong was not happy when he realized that Kiir and Kuol were not defending him. In return, Malong lashed out at Kuol, telling him to “mind his own business,” and that he has nothing to do with Olony’s defection.

The source further revealed that Kiir, Malong, and kuol were shocked and surprised at the same time when furious Olony dropped the bombshell on the phone, adding that the comments were offensive enough to irritate Paul Malong to the point where he repeatedly knocked a table with his fists and vowed to “destroy Olony’s militia group.”

“There has been dirty infighting here in the capital. President Kiir, his defense minister and the SPLA Chief of General Staff are not happy,” the source said.

“Olony bluntly told the three leaders that their call for him to come to Juba to settle their differences smells like Paul Malong’s suitcase,” the source added.

It is not clear what Olony meant by the reference and why he only picked on Malong.

Last week, Olony’s fighters who have been fighting alongside South Sudan’s government forces against rebels took full control of Upper Nile State’s capital, Malakal.

The news of the capture of the city and most of its Counties from government soldiers caused panic in Juba as rebels forces allied to South Sudan’s Former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, are rumored to have strike an undisclosed deal with Olony.

In April, Olony’s fighters launched a surprised attack against bodyguards of Upper Nile State’s Governor, Simon Kun Puohc. The attack resulted in the death of some of Puoch’s bodyguards and sent at least five of his staff members to a hospital.

Olony is believed to break his deal with Kiir because of an unexplained assassination of his deputy by government soldiers.

S. Sudanese armed opposition urges oil companies to vacate oilfields

Addis Ababa, May 19, 2015 (SSNA) -- Sudan Sudan’s rebels have asked oil companies operating in the oil-rich Upper Nile State to immediately cease their operations and evacuate all their employees, the Spokesman for the Chairman of SPLM/A-IN Opposition James Gatdet Dak said in a statement.

The warning comes weeks after the two warring factions renewed fighting in Unity and Upper Nile States.

“SPLM/SPLA leadership has asked all oil companies operating in Upper Nile state to shut down their operations and evacuate their staff immediately. We also ask them to do the process of closing down in a safe manner that will not damage the oil facilities and cause environmental damage,” Gatdet said.

“This is a matter of urgency!” he added.

Gatdet argues that oil companies should leave because the fighting between the two rival forces is very close to the oilfields.

The rebel Spokesman also asserted the recent fighting is a result of government assaults on their positions, adding that the SPLA-IO repulsed government soldiers and decided to pursue them in their hideouts.

Gatdet further revealed that the rebel forces have also decided “to take control of the oilfields and deny Salva Kiir from using the oil revenues to perpetuate the war.”

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