The UN refugee agency says the latest fighting in Yei River State has so far displaced over 5,000 civilians to the neighbouring DR Congo.
According to UNHCR, the clashes started on January 19 between the army and General Thomas Cirilo’s NAS.
It says the displaced, women and children have arrived in several border villages near the town of Ingbokolo, in north-east DRC’s Ituri province.
“Because of the ongoing clashes, there has been influx of South Sudanese refugees into the DR Congo,” said Eujin Byun, UNHCR spokesperson in South Sudan.
Eight thousand others are said to be displaced inside South Sudan, and on the outskirts of Yei town.
“Our office in Yei reported estimated 8,000 internally displaced people from the border town coming to Yei town, and the surrounding of Yei area,” Mr. Eujin said.
He said their partner office in DRC is expecting more South Sudanese refugees to cross the border.
This is because, Mr Eujin said “the clashes are still ongoing in those border town areas.”
Last month, the Reconstituted JMEC expressed concern over military build-up in the state.
However, this concern was recently rubbished by the co-chair of the Joint Defense Board, Gen. James Koang – who represents IO in the pre-transitional body.
General Koang described it as false.