An outburst of heavy fighting between Government and opposition forces in South Sudan represents the most sustained hostilities between the two parties since May, a United Nations spokesperson said today.
In a briefing to journalists in New York, UN spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, cited reports received yesterday from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), documenting clashes between the two sides in Fangak County, Jonglei State, in the country’s north.
The fighting reportedly resulted in the displacement of approximately 4,000 civilians, the spokesperson added.
“UNMISS [the UN Mission in South Sudan] continues to provide protection and logistical support to the monitoring and verification teams that are deployed in South Sudan as part of the UN Mission’s mandate,” said Mr. Dujarric.
In addition, he noted, UNMISS had also received reports of an attack last Friday in Western Equatorial State by suspected members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), in which a 13-year-old girl is reportedly missing. The UN Mission is looking into the incident, he said.
Political in-fighting between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, started in mid-December 2013 and subsequently turned into a full-fledged conflict that has sent nearly 100,000 civilians fleeing to UNMISS bases around the country. IGAD has been mediating peace talks between the rival sides.