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South Sudan's inter-ethnic violence filling refugee camps

South Sudan's inter-ethnic violence filling refugee camps
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In South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis, almost half a million people have fled their homes, according to the United Nations.

Around 17,000 people are crowded into a UN protection compound in Tomping, Juba. There are just three taps for drinking water. The only stream in the camp is used as an open-air laundry and a toilet, and no one stops the children from playing in it.

UNMISS protects three camps in Juba which hold some 73,000 people in all.

Two UNICEF cargo planes landed on Tuesday, bringing medicines and sanitary equipment from Denmark.

Dermot Carty, Children Fund programme deputy head in Geneva, said: “These supplies are needed across all of the affected areas. At the moment our biggest challenge is insecurity. Due to the insecure situation, it’s difficult for us to get in and out of the locations, the towns of Malakal, Bentu and Bor.”

At least a thousand people have been killed in South Sudan’s inter-ethnic violence since the middle of December.

Some 78,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighbouring Uganda.

Refugee James Malwak said: “They are killing people randomly. They are not differentiating between women and old men and small children. They are just killing people… mass killing.”

The Red Cross helps some 39,000 people in Adjumani, mostly women, children and elderly people.

Refugee Ayen Deng Arwel said: “There is no water, no place for sleeping and then some people are hungry. There is nothing here, since we ran here, we have no clothes and whatever.”

To escape murdering militias, the South Sudanese are exposed to the risks of epidemics and famine.