The South Sudanese government has lost control of territory north of the capital, as fighting that already has split the armed forces threatens to further divide the country. Civilians are continuing to flee the violence.

Meanwhile, South Sudan’s former vice president has called for the overthrow of President Salva Kiir, as tension and violence continue to rise in Africa’s newest country.

Riek Machar told Radio France Internationale on Thursday that he would like to see a “palace revolution” in which the military topples the head of state.

The government says soldiers under the command of a renegade general took control of the town of Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, on Wednesday.

Internally displaced persons

The fighting has forced thousands of civilians to flee towns in the area, with many taking refuge at the United Nations compound on the outskirts of the city.

South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin told VOA that government officials in Bor were forced to flee the town center for the safety of an army barracks.

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