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South Sudan: Seeming calm returns to UN camp at Malakal

South Sudan: Seeming calm returns to UN camp at Malakal

South Sudan

A semblance of calm has now returned to an internally displaced people’s camp run by the United Nations in Malakal, South Sudan following violence last week that left 18 people dead and over 90 injured.

U.N. peacekeepers are sheltering nearly 200,000 people at six protection sites in South Sudan where more than 2.3 million people have been displaced.

The fighting on February 17 at one of the U.N. compounds started among youth of the Shilluk and Dinka communities who used small arms, machetes and other weapons.

The situation was further compounded by shooting from outside – reportedly from armed men wearing SPLA uniforms, according to the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Two Medicins Sans Frontieres staff were among the dead, the international medical aid group said.

This development has left many residents of the camp worried.

One such resident Theresa Lak said “the condition we are living in is very difficult because we are just lying to ourselves that there is peace and a peace agreement has been signed but unfortunate things are happening. If there is real peace in people’s hearts there is no reason for this (fighting) to happen, civilians are killed, victimized and displaced, this is difficult.”

South Sudan descended into a civil war in December 2013 following a row between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar.

Since late 2013, several thousand people have been killed and over 2 million others have been displaced.

Salva Kiir and Reik Machar in August last year signed a peace agreement to end the conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

The UN said on February 19 that South Sudan’s warring government and opposition are killing, abducting and displacing civilians and destroying property despite conciliatory rhetoric by both sides.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is due to travel to South Sudan’s capital, Juba, this week to meet with President Salva Kiir.

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