Locals in South Sudan’s key town report that most of ex-Vice President Riek Machar youth supporters have returned home and the situation has calm down.

This is after Lou and Dau Neur chiefs convinced the youths who have been fighting in support of Machar to stop the killing which has been going one for the last two weeks.

According to the government spokesperson Michael Makuei, most of them have returned home although there is no confirmation from Machar’s supporters.

“So it looks like things are calming down, unless” there is another mobilisation, says the South Sudan government.

On Sunday, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan voiced concern about reports of large numbers of armed youths moving towards the Jonglei state capital of Bor.

More than a thousand people have died and at least 122,000 displaced since the fighting began two week ago, with some 63,000 having taken refuge in UN bases in the country.

UN called on all those with influence to convince them to immediately halt their advance and avoid a further escalation of the current crisis.

The UNMISS said in a news release that the youths have been reportedly moving across the state for some time, with a possible intention of attacking communities.

It is conducting aerial reconnaissance over Jonglei to get a clearer idea of the numbers of armed youths and the direction in which they are headed.

Machar is reported to have recruited up to 25,000 young fighters from his Nuer tribe in eastern state of Jonglei and that they are “ready to attack any time.’

However, the rebel spokesperson Moses Ruai Lat says Machar was “not mobilising his tribe.” Instead, he described the men as regular soldiers who had rejected the government and were not specifically drafted by Machar.

The Nuer fighters are members of a tribal militia known as the “White Army” that became synonymous with years of violence and terror during the 1990s civil war.


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