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South Sudan’s president declares state of emergency in home state

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NAIROBI (Reuters) – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has declared a three-month state of emergency in his home state, where clashes have raged for months between clan-based militias, the government spokesman said on Tuesday.

Michael Makuei, who is also the information minister, said the army would be given powers to stop the fighting in Gogrial state, and that citizens’ rights would be suspended, though the presidency has not announced which rights will be curtailed.

Local media said dozens of people had been killed in the fighting in the state in the country’s north, though Reuters could not independently verify the number of those killed.

Makuei said the state of emergency also applied to the neighbouring areas of Tonj, Wau, and Aweil East.

Wau has experienced fighting this year between government forces and rebels under former vice president Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, who is waging an insurgency in much of the country.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013, largely between soldiers and militia from the Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups. The war has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced nearly 4 million people from their homes.

The clashes in Gogrial have been between militiamen from the Apuk and Aguok clans of the Dinka group, which Kiir belongs to.

“The president declared a state of emergency in order to bring this situation under control,” Makuei told Reuters by telephone.

“These are tribal fights which are connected to issues of land, grazing areas,” Makuei said.

Separately, 36 people were killed over the weekend in an attack on a village near Bor town in the Dinka-dominated central Jonglei state, the United Nations said Tuesday.

The United Nations said its peacekeepers were treating some of the 24 people injured in the attack.

Makuei, who is from Bor, blamed militia from the Murle tribe from neighboring Boma state for committing the attack and stealing thousands of cattle. Bor Dinka and Murle militia clashed earlier this year before signing a cessation of hostilities in May.

The minister said the Boma governor was summoned to a security council meeting and directed to apprehend those responsible for the attack.

Deadly cattle raids are common in South Sudan, an impoverished country awash in automatic weapons where livestock are used as money.


(Editing by Duncan Miriri and Alison Williams)


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South Sudan says oil production at 130,000 bpd

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CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – South Sudan is producing around 130,000 barrels of oil a day and wants to increase its refinery capacity to supply fuel to neighbouring countries, the petroleum minister said on Monday.

“We are focusing on four or five refineries so we can finally be able to sell to Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda,” Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth told an African oil conference in Cape Town.

East Africa’s only mature oil producer, South Sudan is aiming to double oil output to 290,000 bpd in 2017/18 the finance minister said in January.


(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Joe Brock)


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South Sudan inflation surges to more than 600% in wake of conflict

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NAIROBI (Reuters) – South Sudan’s inflation more than doubled in July to reach an annual rate of 661.3 percent, its statistics office said on Monday, as the economy of the 5-year old nation continued to reel amid civil conflict.

The National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement that inflation jumped from 309.6 percent a month earlier due to rising food and non-alcoholic drinks prices. Prices rose 77.7 percent month-on-month in July.

Oil-producing South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011 but in December 2013 slid into a two-year civil war after a dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.

The economy has been battered, driving prices higher.

In June, U.N. agencies said up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan face severe food shortages, the highest level since a conflict began.


(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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