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April 17, 2017 (JUBA) – The acting head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Moustapha Soumaré has urged warring parties in the war-torn nation to protect innocent civilians.

South Sudanese SPLA soldiers are pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015 (Photo AFP/Samir Bol)

The U.N expressed concerns over reports of clashes between government and opposition forces in various locations around the country, citing the recent fighting which occurred in Raga town of the Western Bahr El Ghazal region.

Reports of clashes, it said, have led to the displacement of civilians.

“The situation remains calm, but tense in Wau as peacekeepers patrol the town with a focus on protecting civilians,” the U.N said.

It added, “The mission is also closely monitoring the situation in Wunkur in Unity State, where a UN patrol over the weekend reported a large number of government soldiers and heavy weapons and the absence of civilian activity”.

Meanwhile, the world body said it was denied access to some areas of Pajok in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state, despite assurances from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) and government authorities.

“The mission intends to deploy another patrol tomorrow [Tuesday] to visit areas outside of Pajok, where displaced civilians reportedly are,” the U.N further stated.

Fighting between armed forces loyal to ex-First Vice President Riek Machar and government surged recently, including the clashes in Eastern Equatoria state town bordering Uganda, Pajok and Wau in the north-west of the country.

Thousands of people have fled to Uganda from Pajok and 13,500 others were received at the UNMISS protection of civilians sites in Wau after the clashes.

(ST)

Read More from Source: Sudan Tribune