Clashes kill five at UN camp in South Sudan

Five people have been killed in clashes at a United Nations camp housing displaced people in South Sudan, the UN mission to the war-torn country said Thursday.

Youths belonging to the Dinka and Shilluk ethnic groups fought with machetes Wednesday evening in the camp, which houses nearly 48,000 displaced people in the northern city of Malakal, the mission said.

Five people were killed and about 30 injured. A UN spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the clashes only involved displaced people, or whether government or rebel forces participated in the fighting.

UN police used tear gas in an attempt to restore order at the camp, where violence continued Thursday morning. The UN mission reminded "all concerned ... of the sanctity of UN assets and personnel."

South Sudan was plunged into a military conflict when a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar escalated in December 2013.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 2.3 million people.

A peace agreement signed in August has stopped most of the fighting between the main warring parties, and a transitional government is due to be formed, but militias also operate in the country.

Inter-ethnic tensions are not rare at the six UN camps housing nearly 200,000 displaced people in South Sudan.

The military conflict has had a strong ethnic component, with massacres reported between Kiir's Dinka and Machar's Nuer ethnic groups.

Last update: Thu, 18/02/2016 - 13:48

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