Intercommunal fighting in a camp for displaced people in the northern part of South Sudan has killed 13 people, the United Nations mission running the camp says.
The clashes between two ethnic communities living in the camp in Upper Nile State’s capital, Malakal, first erupted on Thursday when a man was stabbed to death.
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“Initial reports to the mission indicated that at least three persons have been killed and more than 20 injured with some of them receiving treatment at the mission’s hospital,” a spokesperson for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Ben Malor, said in a statement on Friday.
“Later in the day, 10 more people were confirmed dead in other facilities.”
The camp is home to at least 50,000 people. Its number has been fluctuating since the first group of people came there at the start of a civil war in 2013.
The numbers have increased in recent weeks after about 3,000 people fleeing fighting in neighbouring Sudan also came to the camp, Luke Saadala, Upper Nile’s information minister, said.
Malor said UNMISS and South Sudan’s army had reinforced security in and around the camp and calm was returning on Friday.
A peace deal signed in 2018 to end the civil war has significantly reduced fighting in South Sudan, but violence remains rife in areas where rights to grazing areas, water, farmland and other resources are under dispute.
In recent months, Upper Nile State has been an epicentre of violence mainly orchestrated by armed militias.
In 2016, fighting at the Malakal camp killed at least 18 people, including two staff members of the aid group Médecins Sans Frontières.
In December, 166 people, mainly civilians, were killed and more than 20,000 displaced in the region, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.