Over 40 people have been confirmed dead in the renewed violence between the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) and armed groups, in Wau, northwest South Sudan, rendering 10,000 people homeless.
The government announced the figures on Tuesday which include 39 civilians and four policemen.
“These are the bodies that have been found so far, but the cleanup continues … The toll is likely to rise,” South Sudanese Information Minister, Michael Makuei announced.
These are the bodies that have been found so far, but the cleanup continues ... The toll is likely to rise.
The violence, which broke on Friday, resulted in the sacking and subsequent arrest of the governor of Wau, Elias Waya Nyipuoc for suspicion of being behind the insecurity in the town which is about 650 kilometers northwest of the capital Juba.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) took in approximately 10,000 displaced civilians at their base offering them protection and shelter.
10,000 civilians under UN shelter as violence escalates in South Sudan https://t.co/Lix0XlkRgb— africanews (@africanews) June 27, 2016
The International Organization for Migration has called for support for the displaced people at the UNMISS base expressing concern over sanitation and access to water considering their huge numbers.
“IOM and relief agencies are addressing the most urgent health, shelter, water, sanitation and protection needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the UNMISS base and in Wau town,” it said in a statement.
In all, more than 160,000 civilians are now lodging at UN camps across the country, against about 200,000 at the height of the previous civil war which left tens of thousands dead and over 2.3 million displaced.
UNMISS said it was negotiating with the SPLA for access to conduct additional patrols to protect the civilian population in the town. It however stressed that it opened its gates because all means of protection had been exhausted.
The United Nations Secretary-General also called on the warring factions to cease fire and to provide access to UNMISS and cooperate with humanitarian partners to facilitate the delivery of assistance.
Reports indicate that calm has returned to the town.