Ethnic fighting in South Sudan has killed 24 people in recent days. The UN estimates 60,000 people have been displaced by the fighting between Lou Nuer and Merle ethnic groups. Three whole villages were burnt to the ground by over 6,000 troops from the Lou Nuer tribe. Aid groups in the area are now mounting a massive humanitarian operation to deal with the thousands of displaced persons currently fleeing this fresh outbreak of violence. It is notoriously difficult to deliver adaquete supplies to this marginal area and the seperation of children from their parents, caused by confusion when fleeing, is adding to the headache faced by aid groups.
South Sudan has been plagued by violence since it attained independence in July of last year;the situation is exacerbated by the presence of over 360,000 refugees from South Kordofan. The UN yesterday renewed the call it had made only last week for humanitarian access to South Kordofan. Despite Khartoum flatly refusing only a few days ago, it is understood they are now considering allowing the UN limited access to the region.
Next week we will be publishing a series of eye witness accounts of the conflict in South Kordofan and the situation in the refugee camps in South Sudan; make sure to check our blog regularly for these exciting updates!