Violence Erupts Again In Sudan

Concerned about an increase in violence in South Sudan, Britain announced it would begin to evacuate its citizens. Tensions have been rising since President Salva Kiir dismissed Vice President Rick Machar and escalated further this week following rumors of an attempted coup.

As many as 500 people had been killed in violent clashes, according to South Sudan officials.

“The situation in South Sudan can be best described as tense and fragile. If it is not contained it could lead to ethnic cleansing,” Laam said. The International Crisis Group reported that armed groups in Juba have “targeted civilians based on ethnicity,” reported The Washington Post.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated he had discussed the situation with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, and said it is “a political crisis, and urgently needs to be dealt with through political dialogue. There is a risk of this violence spreading to other states, and we have already seen some signs of this.”

Fighting was being waged between supporters of Machar, a Nuer, and President Kiir, from the majority Dinka clan. Machar has denied Kiir’s accusation that he had led a coup attempt.

“The rebels forces attacked Bor town yesterday evening. They managed to capture most of the town. Forces loyal to the government are resisting,” Information Minister Michael Makuei Leuth told Reuters.

National Consensus Forces (NCF), Sudan’s opposition group, disclosed it was engaged in talks with representatives in South Sudan in an effort to defuse the current crisis.

Prince Charles Steps Up To Decry Persecution Of Christians In The Middle East
In an opinion article in The Daily Telegraph, Prince Charles called on the international community to pay attention to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Noting that Christians are not the only religious group under threat, he said that “given the particularly acute circumstances they face, I feel it worthwhile to draw attention to their   current plight. It is important to note, above all, that the decline of Christians in the region represents a major blow to peace, as they are part of the fabric of society, often acting as bridge-builders between other communities.”

North Korean Defector Challenges Dennis Rodman
While the travels to North Korea by former basketball star Dennis Rodman may make fodder for late night comics, Shin Dong-hyuk, a human rights activist who escaped a North Korean labor camp, has written an open letter to Rodman. Shin says Rodman has the right to travel and is not saying he should not. Instead, he writes to ask Rodman to think of the thousands and thousands of North Koreans starving and suffering under the regime.

“You can see satellite pictures of Camp 14 and four other labor camps on your smartphone. At this very moment, people are starving in these camps. Others are being beaten, and someone soon will be publicly executed as a lesson to other prisoners to work hard and obey the rules. I grew up watching these executions, including the hanging of my mother,” he writes.


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