Fears for family in war-torn Sudan

VIOLENCE in South Sudan has reached across the world to Mowbray with a family worried about their relatives in the troubled African country.

Juma Piripiri grew up in the village of Yei, about 160 kilometres from Juba, the capital of the country that spilt from Sudan in 2011.

"The situation is very, very bad at the moment," an emotional Mr Piripiri said.

"I spoke to my brother yesterday (Saturday) and he said everyone is leaving Juba."

But his brother could not find transport and the road was so bad that the trip to Yei would take four hours.

Mr Piripiri, who arrived in Launceston in 2006 and earned a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tasmania, works as a mental health case manager for the Health Department.

He and his wife Jane have four children - daughters Adelat, 11, and Flora, 7, and sons Eric, 5, and newborn Joshua.

Mr Piripiri, an Australian citizen, said his former country endured a civil war that resulted in the country's partition, but now South Sudanese were fighting among themselves.

He said power, greed, corruption and too little negotiation meant the government had split into warring factions and soldiers were killing civilians.

"This is not the way to run a country," he said.

"It should be run in the national interest, and not on a tribal basis."

•Former Newstead medical missionary family Graham and Linda Poole and their three children were due to leave their hospital at Yei overnight, possibly to head for Uganda.

Family friend Martin Dingemanse, of St Leonards, said he spoke to Dr Poole on Saturday.

He said they were not in immediate danger but would return to Australia for three months, including time in Launceston.

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