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Thousands displaced in Leer as fighting escalates in Unity state

August 24, 2016 (LEER) -As fighting intensifies south of Unity state, there is massive displacement of civilians as about 2,000 have reportedly left their homes in the last one week following clashes between the armed opposition forces and government soldiers.

The map of Unity state

James Yaoch Bideng, the spokesperson of armed opposition, told Sudan Tribune government forces attacked their position in villages of Leer and Koch counties.

He said humanitarian agencies on the ground especially south of Unity state were overwhelmed after renewed fighting displaced thousands of people.

“Majority of the population remained in the bush with hundreds of people fleeing every day into the United Nations protection of civilians camp in Bentiu town and others more risk walking to the neighborhood of Payinjiar county for safety,” he said.

Last week, the armed opposition forces clashed with pro-government soldiers in the northern part of Leer, the capital of Southern Liech, one of South Sudan’s new states.

Bideng further said most of the people that are trapped in the conflicts went and hid and currently live in swamps and highland areas which have no access to aid agencies.

Koch, Leer and Mayiandit counties remained some of the most insecure territories in the southern part of the oil-rich Unity state since violence erupted in South Sudan in 2013.

The armed opposition official urged international organisations and the United Nations agencies to rescue the civilians on the ground that still lack humanitarian responses.

(ST)