No fewer than 16 civilians have been killed and ten others injured in South Sudan’s northwestern town of Wau following sporadic fighting between government-backed militia and local youth, the UN mission said Monday.
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said the fighting started after a number of government SPLA soldiers were killed in an ambush on Sunday in the south of Wau.
“The Mission mounted two patrols into Wau on Monday and said it had observed the bodies of 16 civilians in a hospital. There were ten people who had been injured,” the UNMISS said in a statement.
The UN mission said 84 people have arrived at the UN protection of civilian site, while an influx of at least 3,000 people into a Catholic church in the town, mostly women and children, has been reported.
“The fighting follows the movement of SPLA troops, tanks and equipment towards the southwestern part of Wau late last week,” UNMISS said.
South Sudan has been devastated by civil strife that broke out in December 2013. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, with over 2 million displaced since then.
A peace deal signed in August 2015 led to the formation of a transitional unity government, but was again shattered by fresh violence in July, 2016.