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Sudanese Refugees In San Diego Discuss Violence in South Sudan

In recent weeks, fighting in South Sudan has caused more than 50,000 people to seek protection at United Nations peacekeeping bases there. The violence in this fledgling nation worries south Sudanese living in the U.S. with family still in the country.
San Diego is home to more than 4,000 refugees from South Sudan. Most of them fled here because of extreme violence during the Sudanese civil war that eventually led to the creation of South Sudan as an independent country.

But now that new country, only two and half years old, is on the brink of its own civil war. Fighting is along political and ethnic lines.

Mathew Riek is a member of the South Sudanese community in San Diego. He said his sister is among those who have been forced from their homes by violence in South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

“What she told me is that the situation is bad. They have gone many days no water, no food, no clothes," Riek said.

Just before Christmas, the U.S. moved additional marines and aircraft to the region in case help is needed with evacuations or security for the U.S. embassy in South Sudan.

It is estimated that more than 1,000 people have been killed in the fighting.