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S. Sudanese army returns to barracks after calm in Wau - Mayor

S. Sudanese army returns to barracks after calm in Wau - Mayor

South Sudan

Soldiers of the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) have returned to their barracks after renewed violence in June with armed groups in Wau, northwest South Sudan, killing over 40 people and rendering 10,000 people homeless.

Speaking to local radio station Eye Radio after a hint from the state governor, the mayor of the town, Akol Akol Ajiek, said the soldiers have moved seven kilometers out of the town.

He added that the shots heard on Thursday morning was fired in the air in an attempt to scare off any armed criminals.

There were reports of people fleeing the town after the gunshots were fired for about an hour in the town. Local media said about 250 people rushed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to join the thousands others.

Among the dead during the violence last month were 39 civilians and four policemen, per government figures.

The violence 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.

The International Organization for Migration called for support for the displaced people at the UNMISS base expressing concern over sanitation and access to water considering their huge numbers.

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.

The UN special representative to South Sudan, Ellen Margrethe Loej, is expected to visit the town on Saturday to assess the situation.

President Salva Kiir’s party, United Democratic Front (UDF) has urged the peace partners to speed up the constitutional review process as part of the implementation of the peace agreement.

In another development, the SPLA has announced that two jet fighters will be conducting an air show, commemorating the fifth Independence Day.

According to a statement from the SPLA spokesperson, Brigadier Lul Ruai Koang, the air show has started and will continue until the Independence Day on July 9 so the public should not panic.

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