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At least 300 killed as intercommunal violence flares in South Sudan

AT LEAST 300 people, including aid workers, are believed to have been killed in a new wave of violence and intercommunal fighting in South Sudan, authorities said yesterday.

The fighting erupted on May 16 despite a peace deal signed in February aimed at bringing an end to almost six years of civil war that have ravaged the country.

The accord saw former rebel leader Riek Machar sworn in as vice-president to his rival President Salva Kiir and the establishment of a unity government.

But scores of homes in the newly reshaped Jonglei state in the country’s north east were destroyed in clashes between the Murle and Lou Nuer communal groups.

UN investigations are under way after three aid workers, including one from Doctors Without Borders (MSF), were reportedly killed during raids on a warehouse in the city of Pieri. Several more aid workers were unaccounted for, according to the organisation.

Humanitarian co-ordinator for South Sudan Alain Noudehou condemned the latest round of violence, which he said was disrupting efforts to deal with the spread of Covid-19.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of three aid workers in Pieri and call for those responsible to be brought swiftly to justice,” he said.

MSF spokesman Steve Mackay confirmed that the organisation was treating those wounded in the violence brought in to its hospital in Lankien, approximately 50 kilometres north of Pieri.

“So far, we have received 56 people with gunshot wounds but we fear that many more could be dead and over 100 wounded in and around Pieri.

“Our team is very concerned that other wounded people will not be able to access life-saving medical care due to limited access to medical services in the area.”

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