Uganda says region ready to take on, defeat South Sudan rebel leader
JUBA, South Sudan (REUTERS) - Uganda's President said on Monday, Dec 30, 2013, that the nations of East Africa had agreed to move in to defeat South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar if he rejected a ceasefire offer, threatening to turn an outburst of ethnic fighting into a regional conflict.
Hours after President Yoweri Museveni's ultimatum, rebels and the feared "White Army" militia clashed against government troops just outside Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, officials said.
They said the government side was braced for a "full scale" attack on the town, seized by rebels for several days earlier this month and the site of an ethnic massacre in 1991. Thousands of civilians had fled for the surrounding swamps.
Two weeks of clashes have already killed at least 1,000 people in the world's newest nation, unnerved oil markets and raised fears of a civil war in a region ravaged by fighting in Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo.