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China urges government to protect oil workers amid tensions in Unity State

JUBA – The Chinese embassy in South Sudan on Thursday urged the government to protect its oil workers operating in Unity State amid growing tensions between SSPDF and rebel forces in the northern part of the country.

This call came after a new rebel group known as the South Sudan People’s Movement/Army captured Mayom County last month and killed at least 12 people, including the county commissioner.

Forces loyal to renegade General Stephen Buay Rolnyang last month also cautioned oil workers in Unity State’s Tharjiath and Unity oilfields to vacate the areas amid attacks.

Ma Wenjun, Deputy Head of Mission said the Chinese embassy noted with concern the conflicts between South Sudan People’s Movement (SSPM) and South Sudan People’s Defense (SSPDF) in Unity State.

“We are sorry for the loss of lives and as you mentioned, there are oil fields in Unity State about 70 km around the spot of the conflict,” Ma said during a press conference at the embassy’s premises on Thursday.

Ma called on the government to ensure the safety and security of Chinese oil workers.

“We are very concern about the safety and security of Chinese oil workers working there and also the embassy shows our concern to relevant competent ministries of South Sudan,” said Ma.

“I believe the government of South Sudan, in particular, the ministry of defense has the capability to maintain stability in this region and protect, the safety and security of Chinese oil workers.”

He urged both sides to stop fighting and seek a reasonable and rational way out.

“We really hope that all South Sudanese and all different groups will come together to negotiate for peace talk because South Sudan is one country,” he said.

He urged South Sudanese to embrace peace and stability for the development and for the well-being of South Sudan.

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