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South Sudan ferry accident kills Sudanese

By on January 15, 2014

Scores of South Sudanese who were fleeing fighting in South Sudan drowned when a packed ferry overturned on a river. A government spokesman said.
Between 200 and 300 women and children who were fleeing fighting in Malakal drowned.

“The boat was overloaded with people,” said Banak Joshua, the director general of disaster management at the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry.

Rebels led by former Vice President Riek Machar said on Tuesday they had seized control of Malakal, which lies 330 miles north of the capital, a report denied by President Salva Kiir’s government, which said their rivals were repelled.

According to one estimate, the conflict may have killed as many as 10,000 people, although there is no official toll for those killed in the desperately poor nation. The United Nations has said that well over 1,000 people have died.

Representatives of South Sudan’s government and rebels have been meeting for talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, but there has been no cease-fire reached. The government rejecting rebel demands for the release of 11 of their political allies jailed after they were accused of attempting a coup.

The violence has displaced more than 350,000 people, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and sparked a humanitarian crisis.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war, making it the world’s youngest nation.

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