Hundreds Flee as Fighting Flares in South Sudan State Capital

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People wait to be registered as displaced persons in Redcross compound in Wau, South Sudan.

Photographer: Charles Lomodong/AFP/Getty Images

Mortar shelling and heavy machine-gun fire rocked a South Sudanese state capital for the second time in three weeks, forcing as many as 250 people to seek protection with the United Nations, the global body said.

UN Special Representative Ellen Margrethe called for an end to the violence in Wau, located about 508 kilometers (316 miles) northwest of the nation’s capital, Juba. She’s due to visit Wau on Saturday. The UN is urging South Sudan’s army to provide its mission and aid groups unrestricted access to the scene, it said late Thursday in an e-mailed statement.

Fighting in Wau first erupted about June 25, following an attack by unidentified gunmen, with the government saying at least 43 people died. The UN previously said that violence was between the national army and armed groups and followed a series of inter-communal conflicts in the region. South Sudan is trying to end a more than two-year civil war that’s left tens of thousands of people dead and forced 2 million to flee their homes.

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