Renewed violence forces 100,000 to flee in South Sudan 


May 10, Khartoum: Fighting in South Sudan has forced up to 100,000 people flee their homes, the United Nations has said.

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Toby Lanzer said that up to 100,000 people had been displaced from their homes in Unity State, as clashes intensified between rebels and government troops.

“Since the beginning of May, military activities south of Bentiu in Unity State have forced up to 100,000 people from their homes,” Lanzer said in a statement.

Fear of clashes, two global aid agencies –Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) — evacuated their international staff from part of Unity State fearing clashes on Saturday. 

They said they withdrew from the town of Leer, Machar’s hometown, over concerns of an “imminent attack”.

MSF was previously forced to abandon Leer in January last year when fighting over the town made it too dangerous to stay.When aid workers were able to return four months later they found the hospital burned and looted and vehicles stolen.

Franz Rauchenstein, the head of the ICRC in South Sudan, urged the warring sides to respect international law.

“At all times, those who do not take part in the hostilities must be spared and the distinction needs to be made between civilian objectives and military objectives,” he said.

Violence in the World‘s youngest nation has been characterised by rape, attacks on civilians and medical facilities and ethnic massacres.

Tens of thousands of people are believed to have been killed since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

The Oslo Times

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