KHARTOUM, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing violence in South Sudan is inflicting havoc on the newborn nation as it is developing from clashes between two army factions into what observers view as large-scale intensified tribal conflicts.
"What is happening in South Sudan is very serious as it threatens to destroy all the gains achieved by its people," Al- Baqir Hassan, a Sudanese political analyst, told Xinhua on Friday.
Since fighting broke out on Sunday between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar, who was removed from office in July, some 450 people have been killed so far in Juba.
Hassan said: "The events are developing fast towards a tribal war where clashes move from one area to another fanned by leaders of the two sides," adding the violence will affect the "social fabric" of the South and leave on its people a wound that will not heal soon.
"This is the first test the South Sudan has faced since it became independent in 2011. The ongoing clashes indicate the political leaders in the South have not yet learnt how to manage conflicts," he noted.
OIL FIELDS AFFECTED
Media outlets have reported that 14 oil workers in South Sudan were killed on Thursday in clashes at oil fields.
Abdul-Rahim Al-Sunni, a Sudanese analyst, told Xinhua that "the extension of the clashes to the oil fields constitutes a very serious development" as "oil is South Sudan's major resource."
"If these oil fields are sabotaged, or face production stoppage or capital withdrawal, South Sudan's economy will be severely impacted," said Al-Sunni.
He further noted that "there are reports indicating that major foreign oil companies in South Sudan are seriously considering halting their operations and evacuating their staff."
Moreover, the violence even spread to posts of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Three Indian peacekeepers were reportedly killed in an armed attack on one of its bases in Jonglei state.