Home News Afro Briefs Originally published December 29, 2013

South Sudan: 25,000 Strong 'White Army' Disbands, Returns Home

by Associated Press

    Displaced people do their daily chores such as bathing, washing clothes, cooking and fetching water at a United Nations compound which has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, in the capital Juba, South Sudan Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Some 25,000 people live in two hastily arranged camps for the internally displaced in Juba and nearly 40,000 are in camps elsewhere in the country, two weeks after violence broke out in the capital and a spiralling series of ethnically-based attacks coursed through the nation, killing at least 1,000 people. (APPhoto/BenCurtis)
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JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan's minister of information says that most of the 25,000-strong militia that had been marching toward a potentially vicious military confrontation has disbanded and returned home.

Michael Makuei Lueth told The Associated Press Sunday that Nuer community leaders in Jonglei state persuaded the "White Army" fighters to go home.

Lueth said only a "very few" refused to disband. He said an exact number was not known.

South Sudan has had two weeks of violence. The government accuses former Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, of a coup attempt against President Salva Kiir, a Dinka.

Lueth on Saturday told a news conference that more than 25,000 Lou Nuer youth were marching toward Bor.

The United Nations Sunday said it was "extremely concerned" and urged the fighters to return home.

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