More than 1,20,000 people need humanitarian aid because of a wave of ethnic clashes in a remote and volatile region of South Sudan, the United Nations has said, underscoring the challenges the world's newest nation faces six months after independence.
The government of Sudan also reported clashes in a state bordering the new nation.
The battles in Jonglei state are straining international relief efforts, Lise Grande, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, said yesterday.
The UN mission originally projected that the same number of people displaced in South Sudan in 2011 350,000 would be displaced in 2012.
"We are two weeks into the year and there have already been 120,000 impacted," said Grande.
The UN earlier this month estimated that 60,000 people had been affected by clashes between the Lou Nuer and Murle communities.
The Lou Nuer sent a column of at least 6,000 warriors to attack the Murle in late December and early January, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing into the countryside.
The Murle have since carried out revenge attacks. No reliable death toll has yet been established in the series of attacks.
Government officials have estimated that over 160 have been killed in Murle revenge attacks.
A county commissioner initially estimated more than 3,000 had been killed in the Lou Nuer attacks on Pibor, but the central government has cast doubt on that figure.