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1 Dead in Inter-Communal Fighting at South Sudan UN Camp

FILE - Internally displaced people gather by a water collection point in a United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Protection of Civilian site (PoC), outside the capital Juba, South Sudan, Jan. 25, 2017.

One person was killed and three others critically wounded just outside South Sudan's capital in the latest fighting between internally displaced persons at a United Nations-run Protection of Civilians (POC) site.

Displaced people said fighting that between two communities from the former Unity State that initially erupted a week ago, resumed Wednesday at the camp.

Camp resident Reat Kuajin told VOA's South Sudan in Focus that the fighting was a continuation of an argument that started nine days ago at POC 3.

"It was only fighting between two boys and it has led to communal fighting. So for these nine days there has been mediation between the two groups to try make sure that they come together. Unfortunately early [Wednesday] fighting has resumed," said Kuajin.

Tek Chan Nhial, IDP and deputy camp chairman of POC 3, confirmed one person was killed in the clashes and three others were listed in critical condition after gunshots were fired in the camp. He said the fighters also used stones, spears, and grenades.

Chan said calm returned Wednesday at the POC camp, but tensions remain high. Chan called on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to quickly intervene.

More than 36,000 IDPs are camping at the POC site in Juba. All fled their homes due to fighting over the past five years.

In an email to South Sudan in Focus, UNMISS spokesperson Francesca Mold called on the groups to end the violence so aid workers can safely deliver food, water and other essential services to vulnerable civilians living inside the POCcamp.

The statement said UNMISS peacekeepers, soldiers and police have intensified their presence in and around the site to protect civilians and separate the fighting groups.

Mold said UNMISS will continue to engage closely with camp and community leaders to help the communities negotiate an amicable solution.

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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the South Sudan In Focus radio program.