Fighting kills at least 20 in South Sudan displaced peoples camp – MSF

By Waakhe Simon Wudu

JUBA (Reuters) -At least 20 people have died in fighting in a camp for displaced people in South Sudan, a medical aid group said on Friday.

Tensions started rising last week when women from different groups tussled at a water point in the camp in Upper Nile State’s capital Malakal, according to state Information Minister Luke Saadala.

Full-blown clashes erupted after a man was stabbed to death on Thursday, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which runs the camp, said.

“The conflict has resulted in the death of more than 20 people so far and injuries to more than 50 others,” aid group Médecins Sans Frontières South Sudan said.

The camp, which hosts at least 50,000 people, opened when people started arriving there at the start of South Sudan’s civil war in 2013.

In recent weeks, around 3,000 people who were fleeing fighting in neighbouring Sudan arrived, Saadala said.

A peace deal signed in 2018 by the major parties to South Sudan’s civil war has significantly reduced violence there in recent years.

But lower-level clashes between rival communities frequently flare up. Violence remains rife in areas where rights to grazing areas, water, cultivation grounds and other resources are under dispute.

In December 166 people, mainly civilians, were killed and more than 20,000 others displaced in the region, according to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Fighting at the Malakal camp killed at least 18 people including two MSF staff members, in early 2016.

Calm was returning to the camp on Friday, but UNMISS had reinforced security there, officials said.

(Editing by George Obulutsa, Angus MacSwan and Andrew Heavens)