Nairobi, Feb 8 IANS | 9 months ago

The UN refugee agency said Friday it has begun distributing basic relief supplies to an estimated 10,000 people displaced by the recent conflict in and around Malakal, capital of South Sudan's Upper Nile state.

The UNHCR said they are taking advantage of the relative calm following the signing of the cessation of hostilities agreement between the warring forces Jan 23 to deliver aid to the most vulnerable, Xinhua reported.

"This is the first aid to reach the displaced people outside of the UN base in Malakal (some 600 km north of Juba). The city was the scene some of the fiercest fighting last month," the UN agency said in the statement.

Thousands of people are estimated to have died in the violence. Among those that have been driven from their homes, many are seeking refuge on bases of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), authorized by the Security Council to almost double its armed strength in an effort to protect civilians.

The UN estimates that thousands of people have been killed and about 900,000 displaced from their homes due to the ongoing clashes in South Sudan.

(Posted on 08-02-2014)

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