November 19, 2017 (JUBA) – Intense fighting in Kajo-keji county of South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state has forced more than 17,300 displaced people to flee to new safe locations with the majority reported to have crossed to Uganda, the United Nations said.
The UN humanitarian agency (OCHA) said internally displaced persons are in Ajio (2,400), Keriwa (7,300) and Logo (7,500) camps near South Sudan-Uganda border before the fighting in October.
“They [IDPs] had been displaced there following fighting and increasing insecurity in other parts of Central Equatoria including, Morobo, Lainya and Yei,” OCHA said in its latest news bulletin.
According to eyewitness, a significant number of IDPs stayed in Ajio, Logo and Keriwa IDP camps, until fighting resumed on 16 October first gun battles broke out on 16 October, local sources reported that deteriorated further from 26-29 October, following a government offensive on Kimu, Jalimo, Sokare and Bori villages.
The camps rapidly emptied as many IDPs fled to Uganda while around 2,500 IDPs, mainly the elderly, women and children, reportedly remained displaced at Korijo in Liwolo payam about 5 kilometres from the border. Most of the IDPs at Korijo reportedly cited tending livestock as the reason for staying inside South Sudan.
Yei county authorities also reported high numbers of new arrivals in Lainya and Morobo as a result of the fighting in late October.
Dozens of aid workers from 10 humanitarian organizations responding to the needs of the displaced were forced to suspend operations and relocate from the area, the UN humanitarian agency said.
Meanwhile, reports also indicated that the fighting has had adverse effects on civilians displaced several times, as demands for water, food and medical items escalate