Kenya Airways Suspends Flights to South Sudan as Violence Escalates

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Kenya Airways said on Sunday it was suspending flights to South Sudan’s capital Juba after a flare-up of fighting between rival factions in the unity government.

“We wish to advise our guests that we have suspended flights to Juba, South Sudan due to uncertain security situation,” the airline wrote on its Twitter account.

The clashes in Juba that first erupted late on Thursday have left scores dead.

The violence has raised fears South Sudan could face more instability after emerging from a two-year civil war, which began in December 2013 after Kiir sacked Machar as vice president.

On Saturday, Juba was calm, but on Sunday a Reuters witness said gunfire was heard in Gudele and Jebel suburbs of Juba, near the military barracks that hosts troops loyal to Machar.

“For about 30 to 40 minutes we heard sounds of heavy artillery in the direction of Jebel area,” an aide worker based in Juba who did not want to be named told Reuters.

South Sudan’s civil war was fought largely along ethnic lines with Kiir, a Dinka, and Machar, a Nuer, drawing support from their respective tribes.

A peace agreement last August ended the war but Kiir and Machar have yet to integrate their forces, a key part of the peace deal.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday the latest violence highlighted a lack of commitment to the peace process and urged the country’s leaders to end the fighting, discipline military leaders and work together to implement the peace deal.

With files from Reuters and The Star