Lamwo district security committee has banned any domestic travels to South Sudan as a result of the ongoing clashes there. The clashes broke out in Juba on December 15thbetween government forces and soldiers loyal to Riek Machar, the former South Sudanese president.
The violence has since spread far north of the Capital Juba. The violence has spread to South Sudan’s Oil States where forces under the command of former South Sudan’s vice-president, Riek Machar, exert majority control.
An estimated 500 people have so far been killed in the clashes. The United Nations Department for Safety and Security of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan says the situation in South Sudan is largely volatile. As a result, Lamwo district security committee has banned residents from making any travels to South Sudan. Molly Ayo Obua, the Lamwo Resident District Commissioner says the committee suspended the travels for Security and safety reasons.
She says the decision was prompted by the overwhelming number of applications from people seeking approval to travel to South Sudan. According to the RDC, some of applicants want o travel for funerals, weddings and business meetings, which happen during this time of the year. Ayo however, says the social activities can wait for the volatile situation to stabilize.
It is estimated that 1.5 million Ugandans are living, working or doing business in South Sudan. Some few have been killed in the recent wave of violence. Ayo downplayed the influx of South Sudanese into Lamwo District saying those arriving are residents who were in South Sudan doing business. However, the RDC has ordered all local leaders to direct incoming refugees to register with her office.
The suspension of travels come days after central government opened the South Sudan border following the violence. The violence in Africa;s newest nation appears to be escalating. On Tuesday, Riek Machar announced his forces will divert oil revenues accrued from the country’s oil wells, days after the troops seized control of much of the new nation’s oilfields.
He said no money would go to the government in Juba, explaining that his group plans to divert oil revenues and deal directly with Sudan in implementing the September 2012 cooperation agreements as they are in control of the concerned states. The latest announcement confirms Machar’s stand of engaging the government of Salvar Kiir in a new civil war. Machar says Juba will be isolated until his group takes over power from President Salva Kiir.