Exodus Sparked by Gunmen Attacking State Capital in South Sudan

Gunmen attacked government, police and army premises in a South Sudanese town, forcing almost its entire population to flee, a local official said, as the oil-producing nation tries to enact a peace agreement.

The unidentified assailants raided Raja, capital of the country’s new Lol state, early Wednesday, State Information Minister Francis Piol Buk said by phone from an undisclosed location outside the town. “Maybe someone doesn’t like the combination of the state or the leadership in Raja,” he said.

Army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said by phone that Raja is back under government control and he didn’t yet have any details on casualties.

Former rebels have returned to South Sudan’s capital to join a transitional government that seeks to end a civil war that began in December 2013 and has left tens of thousands of people dead. Lol was created after President Salva Kiir increased the number of regional states to 28 from 10, a move criticized by the former insurgents as well as the international community.

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