JUBA - One person was killed and eight others were wounded when machete-wielding youths clashed inside the United Nations camp in Malakal, where thousands of displaced South Sudanese have sought shelter, a U.N. official said Tuesday.
“Fighting broke out between groups of youth in our protection of civilians site at the Mission's compound in Malakal in the late afternoon of Monday," Joe Contreras, the acting spokesman for the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said.
"There was one fatality involving an IDP and at least another four IDPs were injured. Four of our U.N. peacekeepers suffered minor injuries as they tried to separate the two fighting groups,” Contreras said.
Upper Nile state Information Minister Peter Hoth confirmed in a telephone conversation with South Sudan in Focus that there had been clashes at the camp, but he described the incident as minor.
Contreras said the youths involved in the fighting attacked each other with machetes and sticks. UNMISS peacekeepers and police officers had to use teargas to break up the fighting.
Contreras said the clashes appeared to involve "one group of mainly Nuer youths against one group of mainly Shiluk youths." He said the camp was still tense but there had been no further fighting.
Clashes at the same IDP camp in March claimed the lives of 10 people, Contreras said.
The UNMISS camp in Malakal houses close to 20,000 IDPs. Many of them fled to the camp after fighting that erupted in Juba in December last year spread to other parts of South Sudan, including Upper Nile state.
Contreras said the abduction from Malakal this month of two South Sudanese who worked for the United Nations had ratcheted up tensions in the camp. The U.N. workers are still missing.
A separate outbreak of violence at one of the U.N. camps in Juba at the weekend left at least 60 people injured, Contreras said. That camp houses some 11,000 IDPs.
Around 100,000 people are sheltering at U.N. camps around South Sudan.