As intense fighting continues in South Sudan, news agency are reporting Tuesday that a riverboat disaster on the Nile River has claimed the lives of at least 200 people, mostly women and children, as people there attempted to flee the violence.
“The reports we have are of between 200 to 300 people, including women and children. The boat was overloaded,” army spokesman Philip Aguer told reporters. “They all drowned. They were fleeing the fighting that broke out again in Malakal.”
According to Agence France-Presse:
South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation, having been formed in 2011 after breaking off of Sudan as part of a drive to end a long internal conflict. The transition, however, has not been smooth as various factions continue drives for power.
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Talks between the two opposing forces are currently taking place in neighboring Ethiopia, but progress has been slow. Meanwhile, the UN warns that human rights violations are continuing throughout South Sudan as the fight continuing.
In a separate troubling development, the Associated Press reports that rebel forces have described being attacked by government aircraft with a “smoky weapon that burns,” an indication that white phosphorus is being deployed as a weapon by the South Sudanese army.