The number of civilians seeking shelter at UN protection sites across South Sudan has now reached 95,000, with more than 30,000 people in the capital of Juba, a UN spokesman said Thursday, citing data from the UN Mission in South Sudan.
"That's the largest figure recorded since the beginning of the crisis in mid-December," Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.
Some 30,000 people are at UN sites in the capital of Juba, 38, 000 at the base in Bentiu, 18,000 in Malakal and the rest in towns across the country, he said.
"The mission also says that most new sites for internally displaced people are completed or very close to completion," he said. "In Malakal, 7,000 people have already moved to the new site. "
"In Juba, relocations from the Tomping site will start this week. And in Bor, the Mission expects to start relocations at the end of the month," he said.
"Meanwhile, the Mission says that 800 Rwandese soldiers have arrived, mostly in Malakal, in addition to 300 Ghanaians deployed mostly in Bentiu," he said. "It adds two Ethiopian battalions are also expected to arrive in the coming days."
Tensions within South Sudan, the world's youngest country which gained independence after seceding from Sudan in July 2011, developed into open conflict on Dec. 15 when President Salva Kiir' s government said soldiers loyal to former deputy president Riek Machar, dismissed in July, launched an attempted coup.
Although the two warring parties signed a ceasefire agreement on May 9, the second truce pact between government troops and rival forces, internally displaced people in the volatile African country increased by 46,000 to more than 1 million, and the number of South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda rose by more than 20,000, to 370,000, the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said in late May.