Migrants killed in crossfire in South Sudan 

16 Kenyans and 6 Ugandans die

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South Sudanese celebrate independence from Sudan in July 2011 (Photo, politico.eu)

The Association of Kenya truck drivers and Allied workers have purported that 16 Kenyan truck drivers and six Ugandans were killed in a crossfire attack while leaving Juba city in South Sudan over the weekend.  
These reports however have not been confirmed by either the Sudanese, Kenyan or Ugandan governments.

This report comes barely 48 hours after a cease fire was declared which also made it possible to temporarily open the Juba International Airport. Commercial flights however had not began yet according to press reports on Tuesday.

Over 300 people have been killed and thousands displaced in renewed fighting between troops allied to President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar. The battle began after a government official tweeted that VP Machar was being arrested under the pretext of a security meeting at the presidential palace on Thursday last week. Many civilians are living in fear despite the temporarily ceasefire.

Mary Nyabac, 32, explained to the Guardian UK that she had left her home in the Munuki neighbourhood after hearing heavy gunfire on Sunday, and hoped to reach neighbouring Uganda. 

“You can see me now with my five children, walking empty-handed. We left our belongings behind because of the fear that we would be shot and to make it easy for us to run,” said Nyabac.

Tabu Joice, a 25-year-old mother of two, said that although her home in the Hai Mauna area had been at the centre of the fighting, she had decided to remain. “Many people have left their residences here; we are the only ones [to stay]. Some have gone to the church for protection but they were soaked by rain last night.

“I fear to go to such places because I have a newborn baby. We may also be shot by crossfire. We have just decided to await our deaths inside but we hope God will make the war stop,” Joice said.

It seems Africa’s youngest country has a long way to go before trust between the two main groups running the government could guarantee political stability and lasting peace.  

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