UN: Over one million displaced by South Sudan conflict

South Sudanese refugees walk towards Kule refugee camp near the Pagak Border Entry point in the Gambella Region, Ethiopia, on 18 March 2014. A large number of South Sudanese have sought refuge in Ethopia since fighting broke out in December

More than one million people have been forced from their homes by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, the UN says.

Of these, 803,200 have been displaced within the country, and another 254,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the latest UN report.

It warns that the situation is likely to get worse as the violence continues.

Fighting erupted between the forces of President Salva Kiir and troops loyal to his former deputy, Riek Machar, in December.

The two sides signed a ceasefire agreement in January, but sporadic fighting has continued.

Food security

In its report, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the conflict had caused "a serious deterioration in the food security situation" leaving around 3.7 million people at high risk.

"Fighting between government and opposition forces has continued, especially in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile state, where towns and rural areas have been ravaged by the violence," it added.

The UN estimates that 4.9 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, but it warned that "the remote and dispersed placement sites make it difficult to reach many of South Sudan's conflict-affected people".

South Sudanese refugees who fled the recent violence in South Sudan and crossed the border into northern Uganda on 6 January 2014 Many also fled to Kenya, Sudan or Uganda, while those in South Sudan are sheltering in UN bases

In its report, the UN says it has received only a quarter of the money it needs to respond to the growing crisis.

The violence erupted on 15 December between pro-government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and soldiers backing Riek Machar, his former vice-president.

President Kiir is a member of South Sudan's largest ethnic group, the Dinka, while Mr Machar is from the Nuer community - the country's second largest.

The conflict has seen reports of mass killings along ethnic lines even though both men have prominent supporters in their rival's community. Thousands are feared to have died since the conflict began.

Four top South Sudanese politicians have since gone on trial accused of plotting a coup against the government and inciting an insurgency in South Sudan.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after a long and bloody conflict, to become the world's newest state.

Map of South Sudan states affected by conflict
News graphic showing the ethnic groups of South Sudan Sudan's arid north is mainly home to Arabic-speaking Muslims. But in South Sudan there is no dominant culture. The Dinkas and the Nuers are the largest of more than 200 ethnic groups, each with its own languages and traditional beliefs, alongside Christianity and Islam.
Map showing the location of oil fields in South Sudan Both Sudan and the South are reliant on oil revenue, which accounts for 98% of South Sudan's budget. They have fiercely disagreed over how to divide the oil wealth of the former united state - at one time production was shutdown for more than a year. Some 75% of the oil lies in the South but all the pipelines run north.
Map showing the geography of South Sudan The two Sudans are very different geographically. The great divide is visible even from space, as this Nasa satellite image shows. The northern states are a blanket of desert, broken only by the fertile Nile corridor. South Sudan is covered by green swathes of grassland, swamps and tropical forest.
Map showing access to water in South Sudan After gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan is the world's newest country - and one of its poorest. Figures from 2010 show some 69% of households now have access to clean water - up from 48% in 2006. However, just 2% of households have water on the premises.
Map showing education levels in South Sudan Just 29% of children attend primary school in South Sudan - however, this is also an improvement on the 16% recorded in 2006. About 32% of primary-age boys attend, while just 25% of girls do. Overall, 64% of children who begin primary school reach the last grade.
Map showing food insecurity rates in South Sudan Almost 28% of children under the age of five in South Sudan are moderately or severely underweight. This compares with the 33% recorded in 2006. Unity state has the highest proportion of children suffering malnourishment (46%), while Central Equatoria has the lowest (17%).

More on This Story

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

More Africa stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.