Thousands flee clashes in South Sudan

South Sudan divisions

Thousands of people are fleeing ongoing inter-communal clashes in South Sudan’s Jonglei State and the newly created Greater Pibor Administrative Area—the latest challenge to efforts to cement peace following last month’s formation of a unity government. Médecins Sans Frontières reported an influx of 83 wounded patients last week and said it had treated 45 gunshot wounds in Pibor, as fighting between Lou Nuer and Murle ethnic militias continued. “We are very worried about the extreme level of violence that some of the patients have been subjected to,” said Claudio Miglietta, MSF head of mission in South Sudan. “This is not just a matter of providing medical care, it is also a protection concern, with some of the most vulnerable, including young children and pregnant women, being targeted.”

At the beginning of March, the UN peacekeeping mission in Pibor said it was sheltering some 5,000 civilians after two weeks of “intense” fighting. It added that thousands more people had taken refuge in the bush and adjacent swamps.

Pibor, in the east of the country, is one of two new oil-rich “administrative areas” created by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir as part of the compromise deal with the rebel opposition that cleared the way for the formation of a power-sharing government.

From The New Humanitarian, March 17

Map: Wikipedia

  1. Hundreds die in South Sudan clashes

    At least 280 civilians have been killed in inter-communal clashes in South Sudan’s eastern Jonglei state. Among the dead were three humanitarian workers. The violence began on May 16, when members of the Murle ethnic group attacked the town of Pieri and ethnic Lou Nuer villages in Uror county. A Médecins Sans Frontières staff member was killed in Pieri, along with two aid workers from a local NGO. The violence continued into the next day, with homes torched and looted. (TNH)