South Sudanese soldiers continue to attack civilians and disrupt aid shipments

South Sudanese soldiers are reported to have attacked civilians and civilian property south and west of the city of Wau since June of this year.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced. Witnesses told the watchdog agency Human Rights Watch that soldiers attacked and shot civilians, burned and looted homes, looted a church and two health centers, and occupied schools in June and July.

The agency cited “credible reports” that the fighting continues despite a ceasefire agreement that was signed on June 27 and a peace agreement signed in late September.

The South Sudanese army also reportedly began an offensive in rebel-held areas in an effort to gain control ahead of the peace agreement.

The U.N.’s World Food Program has said that fighting is blocking the delivery of urgently needed food aid, particularly in Baggari, an area southwest of the city of Wau.

The agency was able to briefly distribute food in September after four months without access, but the fighting continues to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching those in need.

Sources: U.S. News & Worlds Report, Human Rights Watch

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